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CAREER-PREP PROGRAMS A HIT WITH LOCAL STUDENTS

Interest in science-focused summer camps for younger students and high school-level career academies is growing, and last year, nearly every single Lee County senior who had taken career and technical education classes graduated.

Those updates were some of the good news to come out of this week’s quarterly meeting of the Lee County Job Ready Partnership, a local group of public school employees and people in the private business sector. They met at Lee County High School to discuss ways to prepare students for an increasingly globalized, tech-focused work force. Patrick Kelly, Central Carolina Community College’s liaison for career and technical education, leads the group along with Aaron Fleming, the director of career and technical education in Lee County Schools.

Fleming said at Tuesday’s meeting that the group recently has put heavy focus on the high school academies, which began this year with a hospitality and tourism program at Southern Lee High School. Programs on finance and engineering are coming next year to Lee County High School, and academy programs on health sciences and computers/IT are in the works for further in the future.

Cindy Ammons, a local real estate agent involved in the incoming finance academy, said she’s excited to see students getting the chance to work with programs as complex as Quickbooks and learn the beginnings of a vital profession while still in high school. “I think it’s going to be a great program, too, for getting kids to think about what they want to do when they get out of school,” Ammons said. “I know when I got out of high school, I didn’t think about what I wanted to do for a long time.”

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Sanford Herald