Augusta business leaders looking to forge new bonds with a future workforce marched to the Richmond County Board of Education’s Central Office and toured five high schools Thursday.
The “March for Minds” event showcased the strengths of Augusta schools and allowed students to learn more about the area’s career fields.
“I graduated from Westside High School, and I see many people here that also graduated from Richmond County schools. I think that’s evidence that graduates from our school system will come to work here,” GRU Hull College of Business Dean Marc Miller said. “If we don’t visit schools, and we don’t talk to students, we can’t help them … this is one of the best ways we can make sure our young people become contributors to society instead of just takers from society.”
Representatives from GRU, Georgia Power, area banks and manufacturers attended and led panels on the importance of high school graduation and college degrees.
Richmond County School Superintendent Angela Pringle discussed the importance of business involvement in Augusta schools.
“This is a great way to provide a necessary connection to our school system,” Pringle told attendees. Augusta Economic Development Authority project manager Scott Poag toured A.R. Johnson Magnet School. Students led Poag through the school’s engineering and health science labs, math classrooms and gymnasium. At each stop he asked teaching styles, student projects and offered advice on future careers.
Poag said he was “amazed” at the variety of fields students could experience.
“When I try to bring in new businesses to this area, they want to know more about local school systems not only for relocation purposes, but also to see what kind of employees they will be able to hire in the future,” Poag said. “This makes me confident that we can bring more people to this city.”
A.R. Johnson’s students were pleased to host visitors from the business world.
“I’m glad they took the time to visit us. I think it will lead to more opportunities for us in the future,” 10th-grader MaKenna Chambers said. “There are big things going on here, and I want them to know about it.”