Vocational school could give high school students jump start on Obama's plan

(June 8, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

(June 8, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, June 8, 2011

AUGUSTA---They're already moving dirt for a brand new Richmond County school -- a vocational magnet school that will begin classes in Feb. 2012. The county is getting an early jump on a plan announced today by President Obama intended for community colleges.

"By the end of this decade, we are going to once again lead the world in producing college graduates," said President Obama. "To do that we're making college more affordable and investing in community college."

The plan is to have community colleges partner with industry to put 500,000 students in the manufacturing workforce. The administration also wants to partner with some high schools.

"They're learning a trade, working hard, and putting in the hours to move up in the profession they've chosen or to take a chance in a new line of work," President Obama said.

Some students have already had that plan.

"They say they're getting you ready, but once you hit college, you know what real life is," said high school graduate Brendan McManus. McManus is ahead of the curriculum curve. He completed the Move On program and spent his senior year full time at Augusta Tech for an ambitious goal.

"I could get out of high school and come to college full time. And get a jump start on my core classes for a nuclear engineering program."

He wants to get his Associate's Degree in Nuclear Engineering in just two years, along with on-the-job training at Plant Vogtle before getting an aerospace engineering degree at the University of Central Florida.

Richmond County Schools hopes driving students to similar trades will help keep them at home, instead of leaving the county to pursue a career.


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