Drop outs may have hard road ahead - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Drop outs may have hard road ahead

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June 21, 2006

Albany - - Not enough Georgia students are graduating from high school. That's the message of an Education Weekly report published this week.

When students drop out of school, finding a good job becomes more difficult. Especially with the number of job-seekers on the rise.

This past school year, more than 600 Dougherty County Students walked across the stage with diplomas. 10 years ago, there were more than 800 students. Where are they going?

"Drop out is linked to boredom," says School Board member Richard Anson.

He says students need to be better taught how their lessons relate to real life.

"Make the teaching electric, make it relevant. Show them how it relates to getting ahead in life," says Anson.

If students drop out, they probably won't be able to find a good paying job.

"Employers are looking for people that have basic education, at least a high school diploma or GED, were getting fewer and fewer job orders from employers for people who don't have that educational background," says Norman Race with the Department of Labor.

Jennifer Clark knew that growing up. She graduated from high school and even started college, but...

"I made the wrong decisions and I didn't really take my work in college seriously and I payed for it in the end. If I had the chance to do it over again, I would and I'd make better decisions," Clarks says.

So she enrolled in the Job Corps program and finished. Now, she's at the Department of Labor getting her resume together looking for a job with better pay. One thing to her advantage, she graduated from high school.

"Five years ago there were more job orders that didn't require a high school diploma, but now employers are seeing the value of that education," Race says.

They're looking for an education that will pay their employers more than minimum wage. 

Race also says healthcare, technology, and customer service are the growing employment fields in our area. Jobs in manufacturing seem to be going down.

A week from today, WALB will sponsor a job fair with the Department of Labor. You don't even have to leave your home to participate. Just tune in to WALB from 7:00 PM until 9:00PM.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=workforce/brent