Exclusive Experience Supports Business-Education Collaboration in Gwinnett County
Gwinnett County, Ga., June 29, 2023 –– Partnership Gwinnett and Gwinnett County Public Schools cohosted Principal Field Trip, inviting dozens of district leaders, cluster superintendents and principals to visit local businesses, engaging in enlightening discussions, gaining inspiring insights and sharing innovative ideas on June 21.
“Our initiative convenes and catalyzes talent development by forming strategic and sustainable business-education partnerships,” said Partnership Gwinnett Workforce Programs Manager Autumn Andrews. “These meaningful experiences and connections exemplify how businesses can partner with educators to better prepare students for the workforce of the future.”
Divided into three groups, educators traded places with their students and embarked on a unique learning opportunity. From construction, health care, manufacturing and technology, they explored career opportunities, skill requirements, workforce diversity and more. Gwinnett Technical College also hosted and provided lunch, sharing information about their 140-plus associate degrees, certificates and diplomas, as well as business training and continuing education opportunities. The diverse and innovative companies included:
- Batson-Cook Construction – a commercial construction company
- CleanSpark – a sustainable bitcoin mining company
- Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners – a publicly funded living lab
- Piedmont – a not-for-profit health care system
- Kubota – an agricultural equipment and machinery manufacturer
- QTS – a leading data center solutions provider
- RealTruck – a premier vertically integrated Jeep, truck, and off-road parts and accessories company
- Ricoh – a digital services and information management company
- ViaSat – a global communications company
“The way that I found who I wanted to be and what I wanted to be was talking to other people, seeing what they were doing and finding passions that excited me,” said QTS Account Executive Joseph McKenna. “Partnering like that allows the trickle-down of information by sharing with principals what we do and to have another arrow in the quiver to share with their students and to do what they started in education for in the first place, which is to guide them to become who they want to be.”
Gwinnett County Public Schools, the largest public school district in the state, comprises 142 schools with approximately 182,685 students from 191 countries who speak 98 different languages. The award-winning school district also boasts 61 career pathways and 14 college and career readiness academy high schools and specialty schools that support career exploration, industry certifications, internships and more.
“This experience benefits students by giving our leaders an opportunity to continue to see that shifting landscape, and to hear from the business community about the types of skills and competencies that they’re looking for as they try to find qualified employees,” said Gwinnett County Public Schools Department of College and Career Development Executive Director Tim Hemans. “Continuing to showcase those connections with our leaders is so helpful for the future of our schools to make sure that we’re staying at the top of our game.”
Partnership Gwinnett recently announced more than 15,000 high school and college students graduated from local secondary and post-secondary education institutions, contributing to the 2.6 million labor draw within a one-hour drive of Gwinnett County. As thousands of graduates enter the workforce, they will have the necessary abilities for these high-skill and in-demand careers.
Click to view. Partnership Gwinnett and Gwinnett County Public Schools connect business and education leaders during Principal Field Trip on June 21. Dozens of district leaders, superintendents and principals visited nine diverse and innovative companies, including Baston-Cook Construction, CleanSpark, Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, Piedmont, Kubota, QTS, RealTruck, Ricoh and ViaSat.