Ford Motor Company may partner with CHS College and Career Academy

Cairo High School’s College and Career Academy will soon get support from a national corporation with a goal of bolstering K-12 education across the nation.
Ford Motor Company Fund’s “Ford Next Generation Learning” (Ford NGL), has partnered with schools in only 22 cities, and could add Cairo to that list. The program “brings together educators, employers and community leaders to implement a proven model for transforming secondary schools, which ultimately improves the regional workforce development system,” states Ford NGL information.
This opportunity is made possible by a grant from the Technical College System of Georgia along with community investment.
Todd Gainous, CEO of the CHS College and Career Academy, says he hopes the program will assist the system in creating a master plan. Gainous says that planning process will include “our community, our business leaders to make sure what we’re doing in our schools is what the community is expecting.”
The University of Georgia Archway Partnership with Grady County started that ball rolling in recent years, bringing together local business and industry leaders with the Grady County School System leaders along with educators from the three area colleges that serve Grady County.
Gainous says that monthly conversation eventually led to the high school implementing, for instance, a mechatronics program.
“The local industry representatives say they don’t need mechanics who can turn a wrench, they need technicians who have a whole gamut of skills,” Gainous says.
The school also implemented the “GeorgiaBEST” program designed to teach students “soft skills” including the importance of being at work on time and every day with a positive attitude and ability to communicate effectively.
The existing Archway “Education, Business and Industry” committee will meet Thursday with team members from Ford NGL and the Technical College System of Georgia at Cairo High School to learn more about how this new opportunity can further enhance the future of the CHS College and Career Academy.
“This is another tool to open that conversation and build those relationships,” says Betsy McGriff, Grady County’s Archway professional. “My hope for Thursday is that we have a lot of good, open feedback and conversation on the workforce side; that they’re open about what they’re seeing in their workforce and what their needs are from both a hard skill side and a soft skill side. And, from the school system side I hope they are able to articulate how the college and career model is different from what we’ve been doing.”
According to information from Ford Next Generation Learning, “Ford NGL comprises a network of mutually supportive communities that encourage one another to continuously improve. They seek opportunities to innovate and go further in their quest to increase student achievement, improve workforce and economic development outcomes, and ultimately achieve community prosperity.”

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