In 2013, Carroll Tomorrow convened a blue ribbon task force of business leaders to address workforce development and education needs in Carroll County. Based on the task force’s strategic planning efforts, the Carroll County Education Collaborative (CCEC) was formed spearheaded by the University of West Georgia and West Georgia Technical College, bringing together leadership from the two public school systems, one independent school, the Chamber of Commerce, Communities in Schools and the Community Foundation of West Georgia, with a shared goal of maximizing P-16 performance and high school graduation, and charting personal pathways for all students while enabling viable post-secondary options and workforce preparedness.
A hallmark program initiated in Carroll County is Southwire’s five-year old 12 for Life program. Southwire, the largest industrial employer in the county, developed this unique program to train high school students from the Carroll County School system in a Southwire manufacturing plant, while motivating these at-risk youth to continue their education toward graduation. More than 1,500 students have successfully graduated from the program, earning substantial wages, life skills and a high school diploma.
More work-based learning initiatives are underway locally by Tanner Health System, Sugarfoods and Carroll EMC, and over 200 other businesses throughout the county engaging students from both the county school system, Carrollton City Schools and Oak Mountain Academy.