Pascagoula-Gautier School District with multiple community partners. Pathways 2 Possibilities and Path that Pays programs with district and community wide support, to prepare students for entry into the workforce.
Jackson County School District chose to address the disconnect between the skills employers are looking for in prospective employees and the skills of students leaving high school. How to bridge that gap became the goal tackled by the 30-member Jackson County Chamber of Commerce’s Education Issue Manager Group chaired by Pascagoula-Gautier School District Director of Communications Debbie Anglin with representatives from all four local school districts, local community college, four-year university representatives and four major industries in Jackson County – Ingalls Shipbuilding, Chevron, Mississippi Power and Singing River Health System as well as others. The goals of the group were to prepare students with a skillset to go straight to the workforce following high school, open lines of communication and bring business and industry together with educators to forge tangible partnerships, to provide face-to-face collaborations between business and industry front liners on the type of machinery needed to train students for the workforce, to provide transportation necessary so 8th graders could attend Pathways2Possibilities and provide a similar interactive career fair strictly for the students and parents of Jackson County.
To address these goals strong relationships were formed with community and industry leaders, an Interview Day was organized with 70 community leaders, college credit was secured for students involved in hands-on experiences with local employers, and internships for high school students were put in place. This partnership is a prime example of what can be accomplished for all students and our future workforce when K-12 school districts, community colleges, four-year universities, and business and industry work together.