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State delivers on career academy grant
11.15 career academy
Randy Shearouse receives the check for the grant money to fund a career academy in Effingham County. - photo by Photo submitted

ATLANTA — Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle presented checks to fund five new career academies and one existing career academy on Wednesday. The education initiative spearheaded by Cagle promises higher achievement and paths to successful careers for Georgia students in a relevant learning environment.

The Effingham, Floyd, Fulton and Glynn county systems received grants of $3.2 million each, while the Thomas County schools received $2.7 million. Walton County received $500,000 to expand an existing academy.

“Today we are delivering on our promise to Georgia’s students to provide a new and innovative approach to education,” Cagle said. “The partnerships of career academies, technical colleges and area businesses provide an unbelievable launching pad for Georgia students and their future careers. This would not have been possible without the support of Governor (Sonny) Perdue and the state legislature. We all have great expectations for these new career academies and the Georgia students who will graduate prepared and trained for the workforce.”  

Cagle was joined by State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox and DTAE Commissioner Ron Jackson as well as more than 70 representatives and supporters of the new career academies.

“Career academies are where rigor meets relevance,” Cox said. “These academies are setting high expectations for all of their students while giving them the life and career skills they will need to compete in the 21st century.”

Career academies partner local school systems with the state’s technical colleges and local businesses, enabling the development of high school and college-level programs that train students for quality, in-demand jobs. Students find that the academies’ challenging, hands-on programs provide greater relevancy and value which not only lead to higher graduation rates, but also employment.

The specified training for students is attractive to area businesses and communities prosper from the highly-trained and skilled local workforce. Businesses have found that partnering with the Career Academies provide a uniquely relevant and prepared workforce.

The Department of Technical and Adult Education evaluated the career academy proposals then decided upon the grants from the $16 million funded by the legislature. Nineteen school systems applied.

The state technical colleges that will partner with the six school systems are: Savannah Technical College (Effingham County), Coosa Valley Technical College (Floyd County), Coastal Georgia Community College Technical Division (Glynn County), Atlanta Technical College (Fulton County), Southwest Georgia Technical College (Thomas County) and Athens Technical College (Walton County).