SchoolsDistrict’s job-training program a great step

Published 1:00 am Sunday, April 22, 2012

The only goal for educators in the Vicksburg Warren School District is to prepare students for life after high school.

For many, that path will include attending college. But for others, college might not be the answer. Many will leave high school and enter the work force. Those students, no matter what their fields of employment, must have the tools and skills to be productive.

A program set to go into effect in the 2013-14 school year was discussed Tuesday by Vicksburg Warren School District Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Swinford in a meeting with about 70 members of the Job Training Advisory Council.

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Swinford said the schools would create in-school “academies” to provide course prep work in business, hospitality and tourism, information technology and allied health careers. The goal, Swinford said, is to “provide students with a career so they graduate, they earn their money and become good taxpayers.” Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees member Joe Loviza, secretary of the advisory council, has been pushing such plans for decades.

Current vocational offerings such as plumbing, electricians and welding will continue at Hinds Community College’s Vicksburg campus. Hinds also will play an active role in the new program, Swinford said.

We commend the superintendent, advisory board and the state board of education for supporting these programs. Realizing there is a need for such programs, and then implementing them is a plus for the district.

The national push for every student to attend college has blurred the realities of the world. Many important careers are predicated on job training, not more classroom study. Some students just want to get out of high school and start making a living.

No matter the path students take, it is the responsibility of the district officials, teachers and parents to prepare them as best they can to pursue a career, whether it be college or trade school.

This program will be a great first step forward for our students’ futures.