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About 30 students with the Academy have landed jobs with one of the business since the program started.

Bridging the Gap I Plant City Career Academy continues to help seniors enter the workforce after graduation

January 30, 2019

For some High School students, their goal after graduation is to enter the workforce.

Often times, they do not have the tools needed to find a dream job.

That is where the Plant City Career Academy comes in. It started in 2016 at Plant City High School to support students who are not college or military-bound find good careers. 

It was such a success that the program was expanded to Durant and Simmons High schools and now helps over 1,000 students in our district.

This month, hundreds of students enrolled in the Academy had a chance to meet employers from across the Plant City area learn more about what is involved in workforce skills training.

The Plant City Economic Development Corporation coordinated a business field trip to the following businesses:

  • Linder/QGS
  • Highland/Sonoco
  • James Hardie
  • Star Distribution
  • Patterson Companies
  • Stingray Chevrolet

The Plant City High School Business Advisory board, along with a group of educators business and government leaders also helped make this field trip a success.

Students met with business professionals for tours and had to chance to ask questions about different positions in the industry.

The businesses also spoke with students about the opportunities for inter level jobs that do not require a college education.

The Career Academy is changing the stigma that college is the only option for students to have a successful future.

About 30 students with the Academy have landed jobs with one of the business since the program started.

“We happen to know that 80% of our kids do not go to college,” said Danny McIntyre, Plant City Coach. “So, we want to make sure we are making an impact in their life as well.”

McIntyre credits the success of the program to the Plant City community. The Mayor, schools and businesses want to give back to students to help them be leaders in the community.

“Our goal is to make sure Plant City is a great work, live and play town,” said McIntyre. “I believe with this program, we are making that happen.”

“You don’t have to be in debt because of College and you also don’t need much training but you can get great benefits and pay straight out of high school,” says Senior David Elison with Simmons Career Center.

Elison was interested in working for Stingray Chevrolet after he graduates. He loves the idea of getting on the job training while being paid.

“It broadens our minds,” said Elison. “Instead of just thinking we have to work for a fast food restaurant, we have many options and connections after being exposed to business in our community.

Throughout the year, Career Academy students learn how to prepare resumes, gain best practices for interviews, and learn about businesses in the community.

The field trip helps prepare the students for the Plant City Future Fair, which introduces them to even more business in the Plant City area. Graduating seniors will have the opportunity to make a great impression on area employers, by using the skills they gained throughout the year.

  • Plant City Future Fair (4/25/19) - A hiring event featuring dozens of area employers
  • Signing Day (5/9/19) - To highlight select students who are entering certification programs, apprenticeships or a new job.

To learn more about the Career Academy and Future Fair Day, visit www.plantcitycareeracademy.com

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