Local educators honored by Jackson Chamber, get updates on workforce development programs

JACKSON, Tenn. – The Jackson Room hosted an “Education Breakfast” to honor educators and partners in education who strive to provide opportunities for students.

Educators, community leaders and school officials gathered at the Jackson Country Club for “Building Generational Talent,” a presentation on innovation and influence in vocational and technical education.

“Our theme for today’s presentation is a community working together, so we really want to focus on the employability skills our students need to be ready to join the Madison County workforce. “said Dr. Teresa McSweeney, Chief Innovation Officer for JMCSS.

The presentation highlights some of the practices students are currently working on and ensures that schools, as well as students, are future-ready and forward-looking.

“We were able to add multiple programs, for example this fall we’re adding biostem, we’re adding technology, we’re adding cosmetology, we’re adding teaching as a profession, and we’re adding an engineering program, and so we’re adding several programs of great need in our region,” said Nathan Lewis, JMCSS CTE Director.

Lewis says he is grateful that these programs are offered in our region, giving students the opportunity to not only navigate their skills, but also prepare them for different post-graduate options.

“One of my students the other day was so excited because he got his forklift certification and was driving a forklift,” Lewis said. “And he’s been at Stanley Black and Decker for three years and loves it, and wants to keep working there.”

These programs are not just about professional technical education, but also about soft skills such as resume writing, responsibility, and all the skills that go along with starting a career.

“We have had vocational courses in our schools for decades, it is not a new concept, but we know that we must always be forward-looking and innovative with these courses and not just think about what we need now, but what we are our students will need in the future,” said Dr. McSweeney.

At the end of the breakfast, the Bank of Jackson presented three checks for $500 to three blindly selected schools in the district.

The three schools that received these checks are Liberty Tech, Denmark Elementary, and Nova Early Learning Center.

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