Setting the Pace for Better Workers

Vocational Education Journal, September 1995 | Go to article overview
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Setting the Pace for Better Workers


South Georgia Technical Institute (SGTI) in Americus won a first place $20,000 Pacesetter Award for its successful development of an assessment center for evaluating student competencies in technical areas. The award is sponsored by Cooper Industries' Project PACE (Partnership to Aid Career Education). Cooper Industries is the parent company of the Cooper Lighting division's Metalux Lighting facility in Americus, which sponsored SGTI's program. SGTI is the first postsecondary school ever to win the Pacesetter Award.

Project PACE is an education partnership initiated by Cooper Industries in 1989 to challenge vocational-technical schools and educators to improve the preparation of students for today's high-wage, high-skill jobs. The goals of the project are to provide financial incentives to public secondary vo-tech schools to enhance students' educational experience and to encourage closer relationships between schools and local industry.

Under Project PACE, 25 schools in Cooper plant communities across the United States each received an unrestricted $10,000 grant during the 1994-95 school year for developing new and better ways to educate young people for employment. At the end of the year, schools reported on how the the grants were used and how they benefited from the program. Based on these reports, Project PACE judges selected three schools to receive Pacesetter Awards totaling $50,000.

SGTI used its PACE grant to develop an assessment center. Its purpose is to serve industry by providing individualized training. This training is required of students to ensure they are properly prepared for employment in industrial and mechanical maintenance careers.

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