Postlewait pledges to focus on career readiness

Postlewait pledges to focus on career readiness
January 13 15:10 2018 Print This Article

Charleston County School District (CCSD) Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait pledged to focus on career readiness at a coffee meeting at Panera Bread in North Charleston Friday. She said that teachers and guidance counselors needed to learn more about student aspirations and ensure that “every student is ready to do something productive” following high school graduation.

Traci Combs, the director of programming for Trident Technical College Continuing Education and Economic Development, noted that her school has many programs which can lift people out of poverty.  The program offers courses to prepare students of all ages for professional licensing and certification.  She stressed the importance of school guidance counselors communicating with parents on the opportunities available in manufacturing, with local companies like Boeing and Volvo paying very high salaries for production workers.  The TTC Continuing Education department has placed more than 100 current students in apprenticeship programs.  Many of them will will wind up getting hired by the companies they apprentice for after they have completed their training.

Postlewait said CCSD will put an emphasis on partnering with local businesses for apprenticeship and internship placement opportunities.  In August 2017 before the current school year began, 25 CCSD students signed letters committing them to pursuing apprenticeships, although only six were from high poverty schools.  Garrett, the district’s vocational magnet school, only had one student enrolled in an apprenticeship program.  Roger O’Sullivan, a board member for Constituent District Two schools in Mt. Pleasant and Sullivan’s Island, expressed the need for hundreds of students who attend Wando High School.  He suggested a partnership with the Dorchester Career and Technology Center in Summerville.  Internships, apprenticeships and job shadowing are required to be offered to high school students according to the state Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA).