Each fall, 8th Grade Career Pathway Fairs allow eighth graders in Rutherford County to preview Career & Technical Education (CTE) pathways available to study in high school. Students select four pathways they are interested in studying at their zoned high school. Then, students rotate to rooms to learn from industry professionals, high school CTE teachers, and high school students enrolled in the pathway of study. Students not only gain knowledge about jobs in certain career fields, but also learn how participating in a pathway can be beneficial to college and career plans.
Technology skills are critical to our community and future, as Rutherford County is expected to grow more than 10,000 STEM jobs in the next 10 years. From coding to robotics to 3D printing, Rutherford Works Code Camps are designed to help students explore various aspects of technology. Our goal is to teach students to utilize the technology that exists today so they will be able to comfortably incorporate it into their future careers. Rutherford Works Code Camps are week-long camps held in various locations around the county throughout the months of June & July.
Rutherford County business leaders, K-12 educators, and post-secondary partners unite to form the Rutherford Works Career Pathway Partnership. This online directory follows the structure of Career and Technical Education (CTE) pathways and acts as a resource to both the professional looking for volunteer opportunities within the classroom and the educator seeking workforce partners to host field trip tours, speak in classrooms, or otherwise inspire the future workforce.
The Rutherford Works High School Internship Program provides students enrolled in Rutherford County Schools the opportunity to gain paid work experience while being placed with Rutherford County employers. Throughout the month of June, students gain exposure to a career field of interest and begin to develop skills and competencies to be successful in the workplace. The program is quite competitive, as more than 250 students applied for 50 positions in 2017.
High School Hiring Event
While 63% of Rutherford County High School graduates continue on to some type of post-secondary education, many of those students will work part time while in college. Whether going to college or entering the workforce immediately after high school, young adults often struggle to find meaningful employment. The Rutherford Works High School Hiring Fair was created to connect soon to be high school graduates with employers in our high wage, high demand industry sectors, including Construction, Health Care, IT, Logistics and Manufacturing, Hospitality & Tourism and other service industries.
The Teach Ready conference informs educators about best practices for utilizing technology, problem-based learning, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) in the classroom. Why would the Chamber of Commerce host an education conference? The answer is easy. Rutherford Works knows teachers are vital in preparing the workforce of the future. As Rutherford county is expected to grow over 10,000 STEM jobs in the next 10 years, it is imperative that we not only expose students to STEM early, but also equip K-12 teachers and schools leaders with the right tools and strategies to implement and operate effective STEM programs.
The purpose of the Work Ethic Distinction is to address the needs that industry has for employees who have both technical and employability/soft skills. The Work Ethic Distinction is a proactive solution to the challenge employers have in hiring individuals who are prepared for the world of work. Students who obtain this distinction are proving that they are both college and career ready. To receive the Work Ethic Distinction a student must earn a minimum of 20 points out of a possible 40 points on the industry developed employability standards (see attached) and a regular high school diploma. Earning a Work Ethic Distinction and meeting job related requirements will guarantee an interview with participating Rutherford County employers.