UNION COUNTY — Some Sims Middle School students visited the Union County Advanced Technology Center to get a look at some of the careers they could pursue after graduation and the educational resources that could help them prepare them for those careers.
In 2013, UCATC Site Coordinator Kathy Jo Lancaster announced that the center was expanding its Career Days program. Lancaster said the purpose of the expansion was to increase career awareness among middle school students of the career options and career paths they will encounter as they continue their education She said the goal the expansion was to help students determine the options they will exercise and the paths they will follow.
The program includes the Career Days tours which gives middle school students the opportunity to tour the center and see first hand the classes it offers and hear from representatives of local industries about the career opportunities in those industries.
Among those participating in the tours have been the eighth grade students in Randall “Chump” Hanvey’s Business and Career class at Sims Middle School.
For the past three years, Hanvey has brought the students in his class to the UCATC to meet with both educators at the center and from Spartanburg Community College as well as representatives of local industries.
On Friday, Hanvey brought the students in this semester’s class to the center where they met with representatives of Wallace Thomson Hospital, Dollar General, Southside Fire Department, and the Union County Sheriff’s Office to learn about career opportunities in the fields of health care, logistics, emergency response, and law enforcement. They also met with the center’s staff including its Welding and Machine Tool departments as well as representatives of Spartanburg Community College and the Union County Career and Technology Education Center to learn about the educational and training opportunities provided by those institutions.
“This gives them examples of jobs available to them when they get out of school,” Hanvey said. “It gets them to thinking about possible careers.”
This is the third year he’s brought the students in his class to the UCATC to take part in the Career Days program, and Hanvey said he believes it has influenced the educational choices they have pursued since entering high school.
“The students I started with have not graduated yet,” Hanvey said. “I do believe that this has led to some of them taking certain classes in high school, especially those involving health care.”
Hanvey thanked UCATC Site Coordinator Kathy Jo Lancaster and her staff for making the Career Days program available.
“Kathy Jo and her staff have been fantastic at accommodating us,” Hanvey said.
For more information about the Union County Advanced Technology Center call 864-466-1060.