Both local businesses play a part in helping students reach the required 225 hours of work-based training needed to graduate with an Occupational Course of Study (OCS) diploma. These hours can take the form of job shadowing, internships, tours of local businesses, situational assessments, and job sampling.
Students are placed at different job sites every nine weeks, where they discover career interests and develop various occupational-specific skills in their rotations.
“The students in Cleveland County Schools are pursuing a high school diploma through the occupational course of study, and they’re lucky to have a wide range of supportive businesses that care about their success,” said Dr. Nellie Aspel, director of exceptional children in Cleveland County.
Ingles is the 2016 recipient of the Cleveland County OCS Employer of the Year Award. Fashion Corner was the recipient of the county-level award last year, which led Laura Tharrington, EC teacher at Burns High, to nominate Fashion Corner for the state-level Employer of the Year Award this year. The local business was chosen as the winner by the North Carolina Division of Career Development and Transition (NC-DCDT).
Tharrington recognized Gwen Champion, owner of Fashion Corner, for creating opportunities for OCS students to receive community-based instruction and for getting to know them on a personal level.
“Gwen is not only their manager while they are there, but she also becomes their friend, their mentor, and their role model," Tharrington said at the meeting. "She teaches our students all aspects of running a retail business, but more importantly, she teaches them life lessons."
She said Champion taught students customer service and occupational skills, such as hanging up clothes, dressing up mannequins, and pricing items.
“Our students are and will be productive members of society as they transition into life after high school,” said Ms. Tharrington. “It is people like Gwen and businesses like the Fashion Corner that provide the community-based instruction and teach the life skills that will help them to be successful.”
See below for downloadable event photos.
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