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Annual CAFÉ Program Held for Educators

CAFÉ(July 1, 2014) This year’s CAFÉ program offered Stanly County educators an opportunity to become acquainted with Stanly Community College’s (SCC) curriculum and continuing education programs and talk with several local businesses and industry. Additionally, CAFÉ helps educators and counselors identify the education, skill sets, and soft skills necessary for employees to become successful within their company. This collaborative approach is crucial in the development of the future workforce in Stanly County and beyond.

CAFÉ stands for Career Academy for Educators and is sponsored by Centralina Workforce Development Board, Stanly Community College, Stanly County Chamber of Commerce and Stanly County Schools. CAFÉ participants are key players in public school education, post-secondary education and the business sector; each having access to an active network that encourages a free exchange of ideas in which to improve future endeavors for all involved.

CAFÉ also offers teachers, counselors and principals from elementary, middle and high schools the opportunity to earn continuing education credits.

This year, two CAFÉ sessions were conducted. The agendas for both sessions took place over a six-day period from June 18 through June 26. CAFÉ participants began and ended each day at the Groves building, SCC’s Small Business Center and Economic Development Division, located in downtown Albemarle.

Robin McCree, Executive Vice President of Educational Services; Georgia Harvey, Director of Stanly County Middle and High Schools; Kathy Almond, President of the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce; and David Hollars, Executive Director of Centralina Workforce Development Board, welcomed the educators and gave opening remarks to kick-off the annual event.

Faculty from Stanly Community College conducted professional development sessions that pertained to their area of expertise. Educators left the sessions better able to inform students of the career paths that are available to them. Jeff Parsons, Associate Vice President, Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technology; Betty O’Neal, Coordinator/Instructor, Health/Human Services Continuing Education; Michael Sperling, Associate Dean of Business & Career Technology; Thomas George, Dean of Marketing & Outreach; Frank Tamberelli, Director, Small Business Center; and Billy Huneycutt, Program Head, Automotive/I-CAR, were among this year’s professional development team.

Educators were able to tour local businesses to gain a better understanding of available employment opportunities, learn about their pay scale and benefit packages, and what skills will be required for future employment. Participating companies included Carolina Paper Company in Oakboro, Stanly Engineered Fastening in Stanfield, Fiberon in New London, Michelin US11 in Norwood, Preformed Line Products in Albemarle, and Siemens Energy located in Charlotte. Special guest speakers for the program included Dawn Braswell with Siemens Energy and Gene Beneduce, Regional Manager, North Carolina State University Industrial Extension Service.

Local business people conducted “speed information sessions” throughout the six-day program for the educators. They, too, shared information about their business/organization, employment opportunities available, and the education needed for future employees. Participating businesses included: Paul Morelock, Stanly Regional Medical Center; Beth Irvin, GHA Autism Supports; Taylor Hatley, Hair Unlimited; and Nancy Lipe, Falling Rivers Gallery.

The Career Academy for Educators is the result of a joint partnership and is an excellent way to connect business and industry with schools and education.

Group 1

Pictured left to right - front row seated: Wanda Maness, Kathy Almond, David Hollars, Tabitha Ritchie, and Amber Zimmer. Middle row: Andra Bennett, Melissa Eudy, Robin McCree, Merlin Amirtharaj, Vivian Burnette and Diane Lambert. Back row: Alicia Herrin, Misty Hughes, Marcus Pryor, Georgia Harvey, Michael Sperling, Jeff Parsons, Josh Gooch, Luke Essex and Mandy Melton.

Group 2

Pictured left to right: Shelby Lawson, Karen Nixon, Ashley Britt, Drew Laucher, Penny Breslin, and Andrea Russell.