From staff reports

More than 50 educators from the Walton County School District and Social Circle City Schools recently attended a summer school of sorts when they “externed” with Walton Works.

These teachers either spent three days with a local company or explored various area industries so they can bring what they learned about manufacturing and skilled trades careers back to their students. The program finished on June 10.

Walton Works is an arm of the Development Authority of Walton County focused on employability and bringing high schools, technical colleges and industry together.

“This is Walton Works fourth year hosting educator externships,” Economic Development Coordinator Dessa Morris said. Morris directs Walton Works. “The past three years have been in a regional partnership with the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission as part of a sector strategy grant. In 2021, there were 15 externs. This past week, we hosted 56 externs.”

Local industries that hosted 3-day sessions were Takeda, Standridge and Caterpillar. Externs explored manufacturing and other skilled trade professions at Leggett & Platt, Hitachi Astemo, IMMEC, Tucker Door & Trim, Walton EMC, the City of Monroe Wastewater Treatment and Newton County Water and Sewer Authority.

“The externship experience was funded by the Walton County School District, the NEGA Regional Commission, the Walton County Foundation, Georgia Power, the Development Authority of Walton County and the Walton Works Foundation,” Morris said. “Takeda had externs from Newton and Walton counties. Caterpillar had externs from Walton and Athens/Clarke County. It was a big regional effort to help educators understand the benefits of working for our local, in-demand jobs.”

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