Businesses, students make connections at Career Expo

More than 250 high school juniors and seniors from across the district attended a career expo last Friday at the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

The Beaufort County School District, in partnership with TCL, the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce and business partners, sponsored the expo to showcase higher education, specialized skills training and employment pathways in technical careers.  Students visited booths staffed by business representatives from companies such as Beaufort Memorial Hospital, Hargray Communications, Lockheed Martin and Marriott Vacations.

Thousands of local high school students are enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CATE) courses, and the expo gave those students a chance to explore real-world opportunities related to their coursework.

“We’re making great strides in developing our CATE programs,” said Karen Gilbert, who directs career and technology education for the school district. “Right now we’re working on increasing our course and program offerings and also obtaining industry credentialing for students to earn while they’re still in high school.”

Also on the program were guest speakers who spoke to students about “soft skills,” educational opportunities and identifying paths to successful careers. Among the presenters was Stephen Murray, owner of Kazoobie Kazoos, who shared his personal story of establishing a manufacturing business in Beaufort.

Superintendent Jeff Moss and TCL President Richard Gough attended the expo, and both emphasized the value of career and technical education.

“Our students are starting to see that some very promising career opportunities are right here at home,” Moss said.  “And they’re excited to have the chance to get a head start on preparing for those careers while they’re still in high school. These efforts present a win-win situation for our students and our community.”

The school district plans to hold the expo annually. To participate, contact Karen Gilbert at 843-322-5921.

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