Education & Workforce Development
Thank you to the Chamber's 2014 EDUCATION CHAMPIONS!
Education and Workforce Development Council
Chairman - Keven Ketzler, Alfa Insurance Company
The business community supports Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) through the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce's Education and Workforce Development Council (EWDC). The EWDC appoints task forces to champion major initiatives. Current education initiatives are career academies, middle school reform, school facilities improvement, and leadership development for all MPS principals and central office staff. New initiatives that are under construction include the development of regional talent through the new Higher Education Task Force and development of expanded career and technical education opportunities for high school students through the new Career and Technical Education Task Force.
Career Academies Task Force
Chairman - Bruce Crawford, BBVA Compass
The Career Academies Task Force works with the MPS Superintendent, senior administration, high school principals and business leaders to develop seven career academies in Montgomery's traditional high schools. Career academies are "schools within a school" and are developed around career themes.
Instruction includes the integration of the academic core subjects (math, science, English and social studies) with the technical high school curriculum, as well as opportunities for students to earn early college credits through course articulation and dual enrollment with two-year and four-year postsecondary education institutions.
Successful graduates from career academies are prepared to enter the workforce in their chosen career pathway and/or to matriculate to postsecondary education.
The overarching goal of the Career Academy Initiative is to improve the MPS graduate rate. The seven career academies are:
- Health Science and Teaching Academies at Jeff Davis High School
- Information Technology Career Academy at Lee High School
- Advanced Manufacturing and Hospitality/Tourism Career Academies at Carver High School
- Law/Public Safety and Business/Finance Career Academies at Lanier High School
Students must have a good attendance and disciplinary record to be eligible for Career Academy enrollment and must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average to remain enrolled.
Additionally, students have access to Out of Zone enrollment for career academies. Under the program, students may enroll in career academies that are located in high schools other than the high school for which they are zoned.
The Career Academy Application explains the process. To access the Career Academy Application, CLICK HERE.
Higher Education Task Force
Chairman – Ray White, Troy University
The Higher Education Task Force is comprised of the college/university Presidents and Chancellors of the region’s top higher education institutions. The mission of the Higher Education Task Force is to “Recruit - Engage – Partner” thereby strengthening the linkage between area colleges and universities, the River Region, the City of Montgomery, and Montgomery Public Schools. The Task Force’s Program of Work is designed to develop and retain young talent and transition high school students to college, work and life.
The 2012 Program of Work includes:
- The development of a “Student Leaders’ Forum” (SLF) in collaboration with EMERGE Young Professionals. Members of the Forum will assist the Chamber with a gap analysis for Montgomery and the River Region regarding the “town and gown” relationship.
- The development and implementation of “Financial Aid Fridays” to assist high school students to access financial aid and therefore matriculate into postsecondary education in greater numbers upon graduation.
- The development of a database to connect college interns to internship experiences in the River Region.
Middle School Task Force
The Middle School Task Force also focuses on increasing the MPS graduation rate. The Task Force provides opportunities for seventh and eighth grade students to gain experience with, and appreciation for, careers offered through the seven Career Academies. Activities include career awareness and career exploration leading to meaingful and informed decision-making about future coursework. An example of the work of the Middle School Task Force is the development of career academy camps that focus on the specific areas of study in each career academy.
Camp Bones is a health science explorations program hosted by the Baptist Health Institute for Patient Safety and Medical Simulation for almost 500 students annually. This camp allows eighth grade students hands-on experiences with high definition mannequins that simulate medical situations that are faced every day in professional medical settings.
Camp Ca$h Flow
Camp Ca$h Flow is a business and finance explorations activity hosted by Auburn University Montgomery for almost 400 students annually. Eighth grade students learn about the stock market, personal finance, budgeting and management in a hands-on learning environment.
Camp.EDU is hosted by Alabama State University and provides explorations activities for students interested in teaching as a profession. Approximately 225 eighth grade students annually learn about communication skills, how to teach lessons using everyday objects that may be brought from home, how to make oral presentations, how to work in teams, etc.
Camp iMadeIt! is an advanced manufacturing explorations activity hosted by Trenholm State and AIDT. Montgomery's manufacturing community merged its resources to provide hands-on experiences with manufacturing processes, quality control, product design, safety, etc to give over 250 students annually the opportunity to discover the world of advanced manufacturing.
Camp At Your Service
Camp At Your Service is a hospitality/tourism focused camp hosted by Alabama State University that provides explorations activities for almost 300 eighth grade students annually. Students learn about business etiquette, dining etiquette, sales, tourism, event planning, and culinary arts from business professionals across the spectrum of hospitality and tourism.
Camp IT is hosted by Alabama State University and is focused on information techology. Eighth grade students are provided a glimpse into the IT world through hands-on activities such as computer maintenance and website design. Over 225 students attend this annual event.
Law/Public Safety Field Days
The Law and Public Safety Field Days are provided by the Montgomery Sheriff, Police and Fire Departments for approximately 350 students annually. Eighth grade students experience demonstrations such as canine training and performance, marksmanship, robotic bomb detectors, Jaws of Life, etc.
School Facilities Task Force
Chairman - Helen Taylor, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C.
The School Facilities Task Force partners with MPS and community volunteers to improve school facilities. The major work component of the School Facilities Task Force is the annual School Clean Up. The School Clean Up is held approximately two weeks prior to the opening of school each fall. Teams made up of almost 1,200 volunteers adopt schools to provide outside maintenance work in preparation for the start of school. Volunteer teams are convened to service 100% of school campuses across the school district. Volunteers perform duties such as planting, pruning, landscaping, small business projects and other projects identified by the building principal and negotiated with the team leader.