New “Pathways to Prosperity” Program At Central

This year at Central High School, a new program has been comminced called “The Pathways to Prosperity of Southeast Tennessee”. Central is one of three schools in Hamilton County that has been chosen for the program, the other two schools being East Hamilton and Tyner. Central was chosen because the employers in southeast Tennessee are looking for students who can come out of 12th grade and go straight into the job field. The Pathways to Prosperity is a sector of the STEM program, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

“The goal is to have a STEM School at Central. Central’s job is to get students ready for the 21st century class room, for a different work force or jobs that do not exist yet. We plan on doing that through Pathways To Prosperity”, said Beverly Hollingsworth, who is part of this program at Central.

“Today’s students will enter a work force vastly different from ten years ago. Technological capabilities, math skills and problem-solving techniques are now more important then ever, whether a student chooses to begin a career or persue a college degree after high school. Employers consistently express their concern about finding employees with the skill sets required to fill vital positions,” states the booklet made for the program.

In eighth grade, students are notified through Computer and Tech Ed classes about the Pathways to Prosperity program. Also any student who wants to start this plan their ninth grade year can do it. In ninth grade, students start through field trips to local employers; in tenth grade, they can job shadow with local employers; in eleventh grade, industry professionals will mentor students and help them understand industry-related concepts and skills. In twelfth grade, participating students have an opportunity for an industry-related internship with local employers while receiving class credit. Doing this program prepares students to pursue certifications, additional credentials at a local community, or a four-year technical college. The classes that go along with the Pathways to Prosperity Program at Central are Advanced Manufacturing, taught by Mr. Keith Bright, and Information Technology, taught by Mrs. Jennifer Haverlaw.

Advanced manufacturing student Michael Smith shared,”In the class, we learn about programming systems, networking, and data base architecture. I want to be in car mechanics, so any kind of mechanical work in there can help.”

The Pathways To Prosperity program is a great way to start preparing now for the impending future that lies ahead.