WORLDS OF WORK OFFERS STUDENTS A LOOK AT POTENTIAL FUTURES

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Eighth-graders and high school students from around West Alabama visited Shelton State Community College this morning to explore the Worlds of Work.

The Worlds of Work Expo is a regionally recognized showcase of competitive careers available in West Alabama.

The event puts students in real-world simulations of possible careers, including agriculture, cosmetology, hospitality, manufacturing and logistics.

WOW’s purpose is creating awareness for career options among both students and teachers.

Existing employers continue to have unfilled job openings due to a shortage of skilled workers.

Students can take courses relating to many of the careers at WOW while in high school through their schools’ career technical education programs.

Hale County Superintendent, Michael Ryans, says educators need to learn about the program so they can teach students about alternative opportunities.

“I think it exposes out to students to things they probably never thought of before,” Ryans said. “They get a chance to see some things other than what they see in their hometown and get a chance to see some things that maybe they never knew that they could be paid for.”

In total, about 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in career technical education programs across the nation.

Career technical education programs prepare them for Worlds of Work by introducing them to workplace capabilities and makes academic content accessible to students.

Donny Jones, executive director of Worlds of Work, said career tech program enrollment is growing throughout West Alabama’s schools.

“Our educator workforce academy is graduating today and we have a 100 starting today, so it’s very important that we train our educators to understand the needs of workforce in our region and how to integrate workforce into every classroom for every young person,” Jones said.

WOW is put on by West Alabama Works, the Region 3 Workforce Council and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

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