Gadsden students aided by Career Academy

Gadsden students aided by Career Academy
Gadsden City High School students who participated in the Career Academy had an opportunity to see career options in a variety of fields, including the medical and industrial fields. (Jacki-Lyn Lowry)

There’s no better time to prepare for the future than the present.

Earlier this month, a group of nearly 20 students from Gadsden City High School were taken on a two-day industry tour in their community. The Career Academy event was hosted early November and allowed these students to see opportunities for career technical programs in the area.

It was spearheaded by Alabama Power employees in partnership with East Alabama Works, Gadsden State Community College and the Boys and Girls Club of Etowah County. The students who participated were specifically chosen by the Boys and Girls Club.

Comprehensive career learning in Career Academy

Students not only saw what careers involved, but has the opportunity to ask questions of professionals. (Jacki-Lyn Lowry)

In addition to learning these career opportunities firsthand, they also learned about skill sets needed to perform specific job tasks and wages earned in these positions.

Tony Smith, Business Office manager for Alabama Power‘s Gadsden and Attalla offices, worked with the planning committee. Smith said he could see the lightbulb come on for students as they met with professionals and had an opportunity to ask questions.

“As adults, we sometimes assume students know what jobs are out there or what opportunities await them,” said Smith. “But students really don’t know all that’s available or what’s specifically required of them. This event was just one way we were able to open their eyes to career paths that are available.”

Students take industry tours

Tours were hosted at several businesses including Koller Craft, Keystone Foods, Inteva Products, Gadsden Regional Medical Center and Gadsden State Community College.

Alabama Power Eastern Division Vice President Tony Smoke shares words of wisdom with the students participating in the Career Academy. (Jacki-Lyn Lowry)

Students also received nuggets of wisdom from Gadsden State President Dr. Martha Lavender and Alabama Power Eastern Division Vice President Tony Smoke. Smoke serves on the Talent and Leadership Development subcommittee of Alabama Power’s Council on Culture and Inclusion (CCI).

“The conference marked a great opportunity to hone in on one area of the CCI’s focus – fostering relationships that help develop a next generation of diverse, talented and job-ready employees,” said Smoke.

The CCI’s mission is to cultivate a culture that leverages the talents and experiences employees from diverse backgrounds and career paths bring to the company.

This was the first year Career Academy was hosted, but Smith said he doesn’t believe it will be the last.

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