Education Extra

Keeping It Real: Greater Shelby County Chamber

David Bobo from Jefferson State Community College’s Shelby Campus meets with Cornerstone Christian School students at the recent “Keeping it Real” program offered at the school through the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce.

Between now and March 2017, the Greater Shelby County Chamber staff and volunteers from Shelby county organizations will visit 9th grade students at 12 different Shelby County schools to help them begin to think about future occupations. It’s all a part of the chamber’s Keeping It Real program sponsored in part by The UPS Store, Caldwell Mill/ Valleydale. “Over the past three years, we have visited with close to 8,000 9th Grade students throughout Shelby County,” said Keyla Handley, the Greater Shelby Chamber’s Director of Community & Investor Development. “This program continues to offer us the opportunity to help students begin to think about their futures and sharing a slice of reality when it comes to what things cost.”

The Greater Shelby Chamber also conducts several other workforce development programs including its Career Awareness Fair for all 10th grade students in Shelby County and a new program for 11th grade students entitled, “Communication Matters.” The Career Awareness Fair was held in September at the Shelby County Exhibition Center.  More than 40 business volunteers met with more than 2,000 10th Grade students and provided information on the types of employment available in Shelby County, the educational requirements for those opportunities and the potential income which people in those positions can earn. The new Communication Matters program will target soft skills (i.e. interviewing skills, resume’ writing, etc.) to help 11th grade students understand the “do’s” and “don’ts” of the workplace. The program, which was piloted at three high schools last year, will review what a person should and shouldn’t do during an interview, how to properly write a resume’ how to dress during an interview and much more. “We appreciate the partnerships we’ve developed with schools throughout Shelby County.

The collaboration between business and education here in Shelby County schools is second to none, and we believe will help ensure that Shelby County businesses have the qualified workforce they’ll need in the future,” explained Chamber President & CEO Kirk Mancer. To learn more visit†

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