On November 15, 2022, students from East Forsyth and Lambert High Schools from Forsyth County participated in a tour of King’s Hawaiian Bread Company in Oakland, Georgia. Community liaison Mr. Terry Spicer conducted the tour and provided background information about the company. This location is the second in the US, serving the eastern part of the United States. All participants were provided with hairnets, headsets, hard hats and white jackets to prepare for the tour. The students were then shown the ingredients storage area and were taught how they are mixed and then cut into small rounds. The ingredients are then placed in a special coated box, baked in giant ovens, packaged in plastic, and finally packed in large cardboard boxes for distribution to grocery stores. Throughout the tour, students were able to see employees conduct quality control at each phase of the process. The highlight for the students was at the end of the baking process when we were able to sample hot rolls with melted butter! Upon returning from the tour, students had an opportunity to ask more questions regarding the process, future expansion for the company, and various other questions. Mr. Spicer commented that he had not received the caliber of questions from any previous group, even college or community groups, and was impressed with the inquiries from these students. He expressed that he originally thought that they might have been prepped with questions but was informed that these students were genuinely curious and inquired about the information they wanted to know more about. We learned that this plant is expanding and will open a second phase next year. Students from Forsyth were very interested and may be King’s Hawaiian employees in the future.
High School High Tech students from Jenkins and Screven County High Schools participated in industries tours at Briggs and Stratton and Cardinal Glass in Statesboro, Georgia. Students met with members of the Human Resources department who provided an overview of each facility. Employment opportunities were discussed, and position summaries outlined, including positions available for seniors while in high school. HR staff shared pay levels for each position as well as benefits offered. A safety briefing was included prior to the actual tour. During the tour students observed employees performing day-to-day operations and were able to ask questions to gain a better understanding of the manufacturing process and the products produced at each site.
High School High Tech students from Bibb County’s Academy for Classical Education participated in the Free Application for Student Aid Workshop (FAFSA) with Mrs. Carol Lott from the Georgia Student Finance Commission. Students began the session by creating their individual Georgia Futures account followed by completing a brief career exploration assessment. Mrs. Lott met with students individually to discuss their scores. Students then reviewed job categories where they scored the highest and discussed how the scores related to their employment interests. Mrs. Lott discussed different types of financial aid and the difference between financial aid and loans. The students were provided the tools and information to be able to begin the FAFSA application process.
High School High Tech students from Claxton High School participated in a tour at the Lowe’s Distribution Center in Rincon, Georgia. Students met with the location manager and his leadership team. The students were given a safety briefing before the tour which showed the organization’s priorities. They received information about the benefits of joining Lowe’s, necessary skills, shifts, positions, pay rates and how to apply. Student were able to ask the leadership team and office staff question regarding the Lowe’s Distribution Center. The staff provided students with information on employment opportunities at this location.
High School High Tech students from Richmond Hill and Claxton High Schools participated in a tour at JCB North America. Students received a presentation of the company and spoke with the CEO and the human resources department. They also learned the benefits of JCB’s apprenticeship program. Students toured the plant and were provided information on their manufacturing processes. Students gained information about employment opportunities at the JCB North America location.
Dade County High School High Tech students toured the Lodge Cast Iron Manufacturing Plant in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. Students observed first-hand various manufacturing jobs involved in producing a diverse line of cast iron cookware. They use an age-old process called sand molding during which a proprietary mix of molten pig iron, steel and other ingredients are poured into molds made of sand. The students observed an area of the plant where iron is melted at extremely high temperatures for reshaping. Career opportunities at this location were discussed with the students.
Students from Dade, Walker, Catoosa, Whitfield, Murray, Fannin, and Pickens counties participated in the HSHT Northwest College and Career Fair. The Northwest College and Career Fair took place at the Dalton Convention Center in Dalton, GA on March 8, 2022. There were approximately 156 students in attendance. There were 33 employers and post-secondary institutions present. Some of the employers and post-secondary institutions that attended were the Dalton Chamber of Commerce, Amazon, Kroger, Lodge Cast Iron, Chick-Fil-A, Chattanooga Airport, Department of Natural Resources, Dalton Fire and Police Departments, Dalton State College, Chattahoochee Technical College, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College. The Dalton Chamber of Commerce spoke on the importance of soft skills when seeking employment. Many employers brought tools of their trade so that students could have a “hands on” experience while learning about different jobs. Teachers, students, employers, and post-secondary educators were very positive, and all felt that this event was very beneficial to all attending.
High School High Tech students from Effingham County, Chatham County, Jenkins County, and Portal High Schools participated in a three-day Manufacturing Institute Training. This three-day training allowed students to earn three industry recognized certifications for Hands Only CPR, OSHA 10, and Lean Six Sigma White Belt Certifications. During the sessions, students experienced hands-on team building exercises to enhance what they learned in the classroom. All 14 students completed the training and earned all three certifications.
High School High Tech students from Glascock and Warren Counties participated in a tour of Augusta Technical College at the Augusta campus. Students met with the admissions staff and received a presentation on the application process which included deadlines for application submissions. They were also given information about financial aid, scholarships, and grants. Students were provided a presentation of programs of study and requirements for acceptance to specific programs. Students toured the campus so they could see different fields of studies that were offered. During the tour, they learned about academic and social experiences provided on the campus.
From January 12 to 14, Walnut Grove and Loganville High School High Tech students participated in the Walnut Grove Manufacturing Institute. It was located at Walnut Grove High School. The Manufacturing Institute is a 3-day training where students earn 3 certifications in OSHA-10, Lean Six Sigma White Belt, and Hands-Only CPR training. HSHT trainer Vernon Atkinson provided the training and certifications for these students. All fifteen students that attended received all 3 certifications. An employer presentation was given by Leggett and Platt. The Human Resources Coordinator at Leggett and Platt discussed career opportunities available at their location, job expectations, and the application process. The presentation was very interactive with the students participating with relevant questions. All the students were very excited to receive their certifications for OSHA, CPR, and Lean Six Sigma.
High School High Tech and RAMP students from Portal High School participated in a tour at The Statesboro-Bulloch Law Enforcement Training Facility. This tour was hosted by Sheriff Noel Brown and staff of the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office. Students interested in a career in law enforcement, or a related field of public safety, networked with professionals from city, county, state, and private organizations involved with the criminal justice system. Students also spoke with EMTs and physical therapists that were present at the facility. Students gained a personal awareness of the criminal justice system by hearing from experienced officers, hands on demonstrations, live practical trainings, and facility tours. Career opportunities were discussed with the students at this location.
Meriwether County High School High Tech students had the opportunity to tour Buffalo Rock Company Columbus Division, which is a multi-faceted distribution center. Students were introduced to a team member from each department who gave a presentation explaining the responsibilities of the department. Team members made it interesting by having students take part in games to learn about the vending operation. Team members shared the importance of having a diverse workforce by providing their employees with tools and resources to help them be successful and learn the Team Rock Culture. Students were able to tour the facility and see the products and services that Buffalo Rock provides to its customers.
The Georgia High School High Tech is partnering with the State Farm Foundation to host teen drivers’ education training for ten Pickens County High School students. The State Farm Good Neighborhood Citizenship grant award made the Fall 2021 class possible and will be continued early in 2022 for ten new students enrolled in our Pickens County High School High Tech program.
Through the grant, students meet weekly to prepare for the written exam they must pass to obtain their learner’s permit. At the conclusion of the training, students will be transported by Pickens County School System to the Canton Department of Driver’s Services to take the written test. Mike Chambers and Gwen Allen with High School High Tech and Pam Jacobs with Pickens County School System are coordinating the training sessions with Ace Driving School and Pickens County High School.
Local State Farm representatives Parish Lowrie, Alan Horne, and Marty Callahan visited the class to meet the students and present the check. We are thrilled that our students are benefiting from our partnership with the State Farm Foundation.
Jones County High School High Tech students participated in “The Essentials of Responsible Social Media Use” training conducted by Professor Antre’ Drummer. Students were educated on how to properly present themselves on social media to avoid unfavorable responses during the college application and hiring process. Professor Drummer informed students of the negative consequences of posting inappropriate pictures and language. Participants obtained information on updating privacy setting to protect their privacy, responding to cyberbullying, and utilizing professional social media platforms for post-secondary education and employment networking.
Students from the Augusta area High School High Tech (HSHT) program participated in a training event at the Maxwell Theater on the Augusta University campus. Students in the HSHT program from Richmond, Columbia, Burke, Warren, and Green County High Schools participated in the training. The training event provided two trainings: Overview of Job Readiness by Professor Antre¢ Drummer, and Self-Advocacy My Voice by Eddie Slowikowski. Professor Drummer presented information to students on how to prepare and dress for an interview, answer interviews questions appropriately, how to develop a professional reputation once hires, and how to communicate correct while at work. Mr. Slowikowski spoke to students about identifying their needs and creating a model for success which included self-determination, motivation, goal setting, problem solving, and decision making. The students were provided steps on how to reach successful outcomes in their futures. There were approximately 100 students that attended the training event. They were all very engaged and enjoyed all aspects of the event.
HSHT Newton County Manufacturing Institute, October 20 - October 22, 2022
Newton County High School High Tech students participated in a Manufacturing Institute that was located at the Newton College and Career Academy. The Manufacturing Institute is a 3-day training where students earn 3 certifications in OSHA-10, Lean Six Sigma White Belt, and Hands-Only CPR training. This Manufacturing Institute was partnered with the Walton EMC. HSHT trainer Vernon Atkinson provided the training and certification for these students. The students were from Alcovy, Eastside, Newton County High Schools and Newton College and Career Academy. Twenty-six students participated in the training and 23 of them received all 3 certifications. The other 3 students were present to complete one of the certifications. An employer presentation was given by Be Pro Be Proud Mobile Workshop. This is a 40-foot rig that showcases numerous technical professions through gamified simulators. This simulation allows students to see what it’s like to assemble a PVC pipe, bind metal through a virtual welding experience, and test hand-eye coordination. All students were very excited to complete and receive their certifications for finishing the Manufacturing Institute.
On April 29, HSHT students from Coahulla Creek, Northwest, and Southeast High Schools in Whitfield County toured airport facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Students visited the airport terminals as well as baggage claim sites while having an opportunity to view plane departure from a viewing site adjacent to the runways. Students also learned about application processes and qualifications required for various employment opportunities represented at the airport as well as information about starting pay scales and benefits available to employees.
Mr. Blake Poole, Vice President of Air Service and Economic Development, is pictured below showing students airport monitors used to track weather conditions and flight statuses throughout each day of airport operation.
Students from ten high schools in various school systems attended a virtual HSHT presentation/tour of East Georgia State College on 3/31/21. Approximately 70 individuals participated in the event. The presentation included information on all three of the East Georgia campuses located in Augusta, Swainsboro, and Statesboro. Students received information on admissions and the application process which included deadlines for submission of applications for acceptance. Students were given information about various programs to assist in meeting the financial obligations of attending post-secondary education such as financial aid, scholarships, and grants. Instruction was given on applying for financial aid. The presentation included information on Disability Services and instruction for applying for accommodations. Programs of study were shown. Dual enrollment was discussed and procedures to apply were given. The presenters talked about bookstores, dining availability, game rooms, gyms, and other areas for social interaction on the campuses. A virtual tour and photographs of the campuses were provided so students could see where different services and activities were located. They also shared video of the dorms available on the Swainsboro campus. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions during the presentation.
On March 25, Mr. Randal Whipple, the UPS Supervisor, for the Waycross Distribution location met with
HSHT students at Ware Co High School. Students from Appling County also participated as Ware Co
High School was willing to assist HSHT in providing this opportunity to Appling County HSHT students
through a YouTube live streaming application.
Mr. Whipple shared that the best way to start a career at UPS is to apply and get hired as a temporary
employee during their high-volume holiday season. He shared that temporary employees who commit,
work hard, show up, show up on time, and work well as team members have an opportunity to be
hired/retained as full-time employees. He also shared all the various career opportunities available at
his location, position’s responsibilities, and the average pay for each position.
Mr. Whipple explained that UPS likes to promote from within. He shared that most that are hired
remain with the company until retirement because of the incredible benefits, such as pay, healthcare,
vacation time, annual bonuses, and retirement.
Students asked many questions, like where can I get an application, how can I make sure I get hired from
an interview, and what exactly does the retirement plan look like. Mr. Whipple was glad to provide
insight on all the questions. One student was extremely interested and recommended by the teacher;
Mr. Whipple spent additional time providing tips for getting hired following his formal presentation.
Students from across the state participated in a virtual HSHT Employer Presentation at the Atlanta Braves Stadium. Approximately 80 students participated in the event. The presentation was given by 3 employees at the Atlanta Braves Stadium in the departments of Facilities, Ticketing and Retail. Students learned that the Facilities department is responsible for the electrical systems, heating and air, janitorial, landscaping and numerous other aspects of the stadium. Students learned that the ticketing department is responsible for stadium ticket sales of games, concerts, etc. Students had the opportunity to see how the on-site retail stores look and operate on game day. Each employer shared information about different jobs in each department and the role employees in those positions play in making the stadium run effectively. They discussed the expectations of individuals who work in their departments. The importance of soft skills, such as communication skills and good work ethic were emphasized, and students were also encouraged to stay in school and get their diploma. Qualifications for employment were discussed, including salaries and benefits. Students had the opportunity to ask questions during this presentation.
Appling County Students participated in a job readiness presentation given by Professor Antre' Drummer. In this session, Professor Drummer covered many of aspects of job readiness and employment preparation. He spoke on how to search for employment and craft interview answers to fit the specific job application. In addition, information was presented to students on how to prepare for a job interview by knowing their strengths, abilities, and achievements. Commonly asked interview questions were reviewed along with appropriate responses. Interviewing skills such as handling an on-the-spot interview, preparing for interview questions, and researching the company in advance of the interview was discussed. The students especially enjoyed the discussion of the importance of appropriate grooming and appearance that offered examples and an extra emphasis on the value of smiling. Strategies were discussed on how to conclude and follow up with an interview. The time concluded with some time for questions and answers.
Students from Pierce County High School learned about operations and careers at Progress Rail in Patterson, Georgia. The presentation began with a video of company operations showing how the company builds and contributes to rail transportation. The company manager explained that they are the rail division of The Caterpillar Company.
Students were extremely engaged as Billy Thompson, the company manager, explained how they operate as a team. He shared information about becoming a member of the team, which he said is more like becoming a member of the family. He told students to plan for a long interview when interviewing for Progress Rail. He wants to know all about the potential new team member and their family. Mr. Thompson also shared appropriate attire for the interview. He told students tips about what would impress him as the hiring authority for Progress Rail, and the importance of not bringing their cell phone into the interview. He shared minimum qualifications and the vacant positions they are hiring for now. Mr. Thompson shared company benefits and salaries, and the importance of offering competitive wages to ensure his employees desire to remain with the company.
Mr. Thompson used his own experiences to help students understand how they can join the company in an entry level position, remain committed, and open to learning and growing to expect promotions into leadership roles.
This presentation was on Feb 24th. On March 9th, the Pierce County high school contact shared that one of the students has an upcoming interview with Progress Rail. He learned about this opportunity and how to prepare for the interview because of the HSHT Employer Presentation.
Students participated in a HSHT virtual Plant Vogtle (nuclear power plant) Employer Presentation. Mike McCracken, in Communications for the Southern Company at Plant Vogtle, stressed the importance of punctuality, adherence to work schedules, good work ethic and safety while at the workplace. Qualifications for employment at this location were discussed as well as salaries and benefits. Information was given about how a nuclear power plant works so that students could understand the nature of the industry and learn about employment opportunities. Mr. McCracken shared that most jobs do require some type of training or certification, but not necessarily a 4-year degree. He discussed employment opportunities from a position such as janitor all the way up to plant manager and stated that often individuals start at entry level as a technician and work their way to more advanced positions. He stressed that the need for electricity will not go away, so working for a power company is likely to be stable employment and is a good place for a career. Students were given the website for Georgia Power so that they could research jobs available and apply for jobs on this site once they graduate and are ready for employment.
There were approximately 85 participants who attended this presentation from multiple school systems. Following the event, feedback was received on how good the presentation had been and how much the students and school staff appreciated all the job information and details that were included in this employer presentation.
Dawson County High School High Tech students were provided with job interview tips that will help them in securing their first job! Also, guest speaker Melissa McCrary from Chattahoochee Tech shared the advantages of technical schools in terms of money, tranferring and eventual job placement. Emphasis was placed on the Disability Services at the college.
On Feb 9th, 10th and 11th, students from 15 counties participated in a virtual employer presentation provided by Proctor and Gamble.
There were five speakers who shared their company history and experiences working with Proctor and Gamble over many years, with Elizabeth Tolman leading the P & G Team, including Heidi Tennison from Human Resources (HR). Proctor and Gamble, Albany is the 2nd largest paper making site in the company which has over 170 sites nationwide. Their focus is to manufacture Bounty and Charmin paper products, and their motto is: To touch and improve lives. The HR manager shared their hiring process, and what to expect, as well as starting salaries, and what she looks for in a new hire. She shared that being team oriented, with a get up and go attitude, is key for success at P & G. She also shared that Albany Tech has a feeder Industrial Operations Program that P & G uses to recruit new hires. Mrs. Tolman shared that their cores values are: Trust, Communication, Teamwork, Passion for Winning, and Active Listening and why all these values are important for them to deliver awesome results together. We took a video tour of the four largest sections of the company to see how they make their products, from pulp to the finished boxed products, while meeting other company employees along the tour. Students were extremely engaged asking questions from “Why do you like working for P&G” to questions about industry recognized certifications. One P&G leader shared that he likes P&G because of the company diversity, opportunities to grow, and that they get free products. The HR manager was so impressed with HSHT students that she offered students the opportunity to call her directly for advice on starting a career at P&G upon graduation.
The Georgia High School High Tech Program is a comprehensive community-based program providing youth with disabilities a link to academic and career-development experiences that enable them to successfully meet the workforce demands of the 21st century.