In conjunction with the Chamber’s workforce development initiative, the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce continued their involvement and support of Jackson County Public School’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) Programs at the Spring Advisory Board Meeting this April to discuss what key factors set students up for success as they enter in the workforce. Soft skills training, interview prep, attendance, student & business networking events and specialized certification options currently offered to students were all discussed.

Jackson County Schools serve 1,623 students enrolled in CTE programs at Blue Ridge Early College, Jackson County Early College, Jackson County School of Alternatives, Smoky Mountain High School and elementary schools (2017-2018). Students may earn industry recognized credentials in 11 different certification areas including Nursing Fundamentals, Pharmacy Technician, Serv-Safe, NCCER Carpentry, American Red Cross, Early Childhood Education Credentials, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop & Premiere, OSHA-10 Safety Certification, and the FEMA National Incident Management System.

During the meeting Mary Henson, Business Education Teacher at Smoky Mountain High School, spoke on Drone Technology & Computer Programming courses offered to students and how these skills and technologies can be applied in a variety of job sectors including real estate, golf, programming, agriculture, advertising and more.

Lee Sudia, CTE Teacher at Blue Ridge School Early College for Public Safety & Fire Fighting Technology courses spoke about the development and goals of the program offered to students. 53 cadets were enrolled in Public Safety 1 in 2017-2018 and Fire Fighting Technology 1 will be offered for the first time in Fall of 2019. Partnerships with local law enforcement, fire, rescue and EMS services in Jackson County have given valued experience and training to students eager to enter the service personnel lifestyle. Efforts will continue to complete equipment and supply needs and construct an onsite mobile prop training center for student and community use.  

Kaila Day, Health Occupations Teacher at Smoky Mountain High School, presented on Pharmacy Technician & Health Science courses offered and the hands on, real world experiences students receive in partnership with local health service businesses in preparation of their desired field of work or continued study.

The Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce will continue to promote area opportunities and serve as an information source for the community. For more workforce initiative information call 828-743-5191, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the online job board: