During the annual overview to the Newnan Rotary Club by Coweta County School System Superintendent Steve Barker, the overview of the new German Apprentice program at Grenzebach, was presented by Coweta County School System Public Policy Director Mark Whitlock. Whitlock is also the CEO of the Central Educational Center.
The apprenticeship program is three years and involves hands on training. The companies participating will have to adhere to the Work Based Learning guidelines established by CEC, and each year a student is involved in the program the time at the workplace increases. Students are paid on a uniform wage scale with $8 per hour for year one, $10 per hour for year two and $12 per hour for year three while at the workplace.
Upon successful completion of the program, students will finish with a high school diploma, an apprenticeship certificate backed by Germany and college certificates that could apply towards an associates degree at West Georgia Technical College.
Whitlock said 24 ninth grade Coweta students who were interested in the apprenticeship program were recently tested to see if they college admission ready. Fifteen of the 24 passed the test and were deemed ready. “That says a lot about the preparation by the elementary and middle school teachers,” he added. This new apprenticeship program is possible because of the community’s support of the school system.
“According to the German Chamber, which is legally responsible for these programs worldwide, this is the first time this has been done in America, and that’s because of the community we’re in … that’s because of the relationships that have developed … over all lines and all barriers,” said Whitlock.
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