In the May 31 edition of the Citizen Tribune, we learned that 15 teachers from the local area spent more than a week learning about local career opportunities for their future students. The lesson learned? Today’s industry is not your grandfather’s factory.
Five local companies opened their doors to three students each. During the week, our teachers explored and witnessed the many facets of working in technology rich industry. Some took the required math proficiency exam. Rules, regulations and especially safety were drilled into the teachers. Safety isn’t just about keeping your eyes open, in case a forklift, manned or unmanned might come zooming around a corner, but also the safety related to germs, bacteria, fungi. Whether you are making toothpaste, colorant for plastics, cupcakes, brushes or pistons, the work space must be clean and sometimes extremely hygienic.Teachers witnessed manufacturing processes, shipping, accounting, research, and quality control and much more.
Kudos to the teachers that didn’t get to start their summer break with the rest of their peers. Why you might ask? Dedication and commitment to self improvement and wanting to do what is best for their students. A big shout out to the five companies that took time out of their schedule to enlighten our teachers: Colortech, Colgate, Mahle, Rich’s and Team Tech. Did those companies have to spend the time and energy? Did it increase their productivity? Add to their bottom line? No. By sharing a taste of the real world however, these teachers had their eyes opened wider, experience one “aha” moment after another. Our company leaders know that making a difference in students lives can mean making a difference to teachers too. The positive effect will not only trickle down but is multiplied by the number of lives that teachers influence.
Teachers plan to take what they’ve learned and change the message that they tell their students. In the past and even now, too many preach to get a good job, you need a four year Bachelor’s degree. Nothing could be further from the truth. Research tells us that less than 25% of careers across our fine nation require a four year degree or more. That means about 75% of the careers are available to folks that prefer to go to work right out of high school or with a certificate or two year degree from a place like Walter State or TCAT. Furthermore, with Tennessee Promise, students can go to one of TN’s community colleges for free, assuming some requirements are met
Fifteen teachers are now able to provide sincere encouragement and hope for the student that just doesn’t want to spend four more years in school and possibly saddle themselves with unnecessary debt. Good paying jobs, with benefits and opportunities for advancement are here and waiting for those candidates willing to learn and apply themselves right here in Morristown.