CHHS considers Business Prep Pilot Program a huge success

Published 3:00 am Saturday, May 20, 2017

Charles Henderson Principal Brock Kelley wanted to begin an academic program that would give senior students an advantage going into the workforce.  He had a plan in place to do just that, and was looking for a 2 year community college to come on board.  After pitching his idea to numerous programs, Lurleen B. Wallace Associate Dean Jimmy Hutto liked what Kelley was proposing.  After meeting throughout September 2016, the two agreed to use the curriculum that Lurleen B. Wallace was using on their campus, to teach students the work skills needed to gain employment.  While other high schools have similar programs, Charles Henderson is the only high school in the state of Alabama to have this agreement. 

“This program has been a success this school year and we hope to increase enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year.” Kelley said.  He added, “Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Service and LBW have been so helpful in getting this program to where it is today. Our goal for any student in this program is prepare them to be productive citizens of the community.”

There was a definite need in the work community, for students to receive training to help provide for themselves, and their families.  By going through and passing the program, students get two certificates: a National Career Readiness Certificate and an AIDT Alabama Certified Worker Certificate.  By receiving these certificates, their names and information get moved directly to the top of any resume stacks for companies looking for workers.   

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In January, 15 students were selected to be pioneers in the Business Prep program.  The majority of those chosen were not looking to go to college, and wanted an edge over other graduating seniors.  As of May 17th, ten of the 15 students have been successful in gaining employment.  The other five students are looking to continuing their education at various colleges or Universities.  Needless to say, the program has been a great success, and now other high schools throughout Alabama are looking to add it.  “We had some administrators from Dothan City Schools come to campus on Tuesday, and they asked a lot of questions about how we made the program work”, Kirkpatrick said.  “They are looking to potentially add our program into their curriculum, and they wondered what we are doing here to make it so successful.  We also had people from the Auburn Leadership Institute come in, are they are looking into having us present information about our program at their conference in March 2018.  It’s exciting how Mr. Kelley’s idea has exploded throughout Alabama.  He has done an outstanding job putting it in place.”

“Kevin Jackson’s job readiness contacts through the community employers and their need for good employees was such a major initiating factor,” commented Angela Ogleclark, who is a Senior Rehabilitation Counselor.  “For the last few years, area industries have been begging for employees who are reliable, have a good work ethic and job credentials.  It is the first Alabama Vocational Rehabilitation Services contract with a school system to offer the official program in Alabama, so it is a pilot for us as well with this type of joint collaboration.”