Education and careers

Dr. Charles Garrett is on a mission to better link education to potential careers.

Garrett, the former New Albany Schools superintendent who now is a senior consultant for education to the CREATE Foundation, says students and their teachers need a better understanding of the careers that are open to them.

He notes that some of the most popular college majors do not lead to a job with a good salary floor and that for some students a better choice would be to obtain technical training needed for today’s skilled jobs.

Getting students in touch with some of the options was the focus of “Imagine the Possibilities,” a recent two-day expo at the BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo that was put together by CREATE and funded by the Toyota Wellspring Education Fund.

About 3,400 eighth-graders from North Mississippi were able to get a hands-on interactive look at various careers that could be open to them. Many of those careers do not require a four-year traditional college education.

That does not mean that we think our students should not get a college education. Many more, in fact, should. But a four-year degree is not for everyone and large numbers of our students who could become skilled workers do not receive the technical training they need.

We think the expo was an unqualified success and we believe that Garrett and the foundation are on the right track. Skilled jobs go wanting in our region and the lack of a more skilled workforce holds back our economy.

We hope the expo will become an annual event for our eighth-graders.