2023 Classroom to CareersCareer Education for Educators
Shoals Chamber Classroom to Careers logo

Submitted by Stephanie Newland, Shoals Chamber of Commerce, VP of Workforce Initiatives

Twenty-two northwest Alabama educators participated in seven days of industry tours to better understand the skills and education their students need to be successful in today’s workforce. Although some careers require it, not every student needs a four-year degree to be successful, but every student needs skills and training to qualify for high-pay, high-skill professions.  These industry tours explored all of these career paths from no experience required to  short term certifications to advanced degrees and some of which educators are not generally aware even exist.

The 19 tours included: ConstelliumTVA Power Service Shop, TVA Hydro-Electric Plant, Pettus Plumbing & Piping, PROJECTXYZ, DURA Automotive, Easter Seals workshop & training facility, Essity, Southwire’s 12 for Life, Marriott Shoals Hotel, Spa & Conference Center, North American Lighting (NAL), Helen Keller Hospital, G&G Steel, TASUS, Shoals Business Incubator (SBi), Walker Family Farms, United Launch Alliance, AIDT’s Robotics Technology Park (RTP) and Lockheed Martin (Courtland).

In addition, participants toured Northwest-Shoals Community College’s career technical programs including:  Radiology Tech, Sonography, Salon & Spa, Industrial Systems/FAME, EMS/EMT, Medical Assisting Technology (MAT), Automotive Tech, Welding, Machine Shop/CNC, Alabama Career Essentials (ACE) & Manufacturing Skills Standards Certification (MSSC) and Design Engineering.

Participants are currently writing lesson plans tying the careers and skills they saw and heard about to their academic subjects, so their students will see the relationship to what’s being taught in the classroom and real-world careers they may have in the future.

Post-event survey quotes from this class include:
“Hands down no comparison. Best PD out there!”
“This was the BEST.”
“This is the best professional development ever done.”

Classroom to Careers has been a foundational program of the Shoals Chamber’s Workforce Initiatives since 2008.

For more information, contact Stephanie Newland, snewland@shoalschamber.com.