A select group of Dawson County teachers participated in the inaugural Dawson Discovery Tour last Wednesday.
Dawson Discovery Tour, an initiative of the Dawson County Chamber’s business and workforce development committee, was created to bring local industry leaders together with academic teachers to better understand the skills, needs and opportunities of the ever-changing local economy.
The selected Dawson County School System teachers and staff toured local industry including Medical Plaza 400, Fort Dearborn, and BTD Manufacturing. The tours were designed to expose teachers to on the job applications of their academic subjects and to inspire the integration of those applications into their curriculum. Additionally, the experience was planned to expose teachers to the ample local opportunities that exist for future employment of their students.
“Many of our industrial facilities are not open to the public and if educators don’t have a personal experience with what goes on inside, they aren’t able to share those potential career paths with their students,” said Betsy McGriff, Chamber Economic Development Director, “Our goal for Dawson Discovery Day was to show our educators what an important role they play in economic development - a well-trained workforce is critical to the community’s ability to compete for new business and industry locations.”
The 26 teachers and staff that participated in Dawson Discovery Day were selected from Dawson County High School and Junior High and cover a wide range of academic subjects. At the conclusion of the tours, participants gathered for lunch at the Goodwill Career Center to better understand the services they offer and to brainstorm ways to apply what they discovered throughout the day into their classroom work.
“There is a common misconception that retail jobs are the only employment opportunities in our community,” said Christie Moore, Dawson County Chamber President, “While our retail sector plays a very important role in our local economy, this day shed light on the growing employment needs and opportunities in medical services, robotics, manufacturing, human resources, IT, welding, and other fields right here in Dawson County.”
The Dawson Discovery Day is just one example of the many partnerships between local businesses, the Chamber, and the School System. “We are excited to partner with the Chamber of Commerce for the Dawson Discovery Tour,” said Dr. Damon Gibbs, Dawson County School Superintendent, “It provides our teachers and team members with an opportunity to learn about local businesses and workforce resources that are available to students in our community.”
The tour was made possible with support from Northeast Georgia Health System and Associated Credit Union.