Rock Hill Schools Superintendent Kelly Pew says she is working to forge a partnership with the Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation, Winthrop University and York Technical College to help cultivate a workforce needed for the city’s future Knowledge Park Initiative.
Pew spoke of that partnership Wednesday before dozens of business leaders at a luncheon hosted by the York County Regional Chamber of Commerce, describing a hypothetical ‘pipeline’ that could be used to help train students for the jobs their careers.
“We can make sure that we provide that for our students,” Pew told WRHI. “We ultimately want them to get a job and be productive citizens when they leave our school system.”
Where those students go after high school has changed, Pew said, to what are now multiple options: traditional four-year colleges, two-year colleges, the military and the direct workforce.
With adequate programs already in place for students seeking post-secondary education, Pew said the district needs to equip students with the tools to succeed in today’s workforce directly out of high school.
“We do have the classes might take to get credit in college. But I think what we also need to focus on is how can we help students that are going to go into a skilled trade and perhaps get some of that skill while they’re in high school,” Pew said.
Those skills range from the ACT’s WorkKeys program that identify a prospective applicant’s skill set to employers, to the skills needed to apply for a job line.
Pew joined the district in May as former superintendent of the Pickens County, S.C. school system.