In partnership with Carroll County School’s Work Based Learning (WBL) program, Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative (EMC) was recognized by the Georgia Association of Career and Technical Education (GACTE) as this year’s Northwest region Business Partner of the Year for its robust work-study program. Co-op employee, Tyree Boss, was also named WBL Student of the Year for the region.
Carroll EMC’s work-study program offers career development opportunities through paid and unpaid work experience for select, high-potential high school and college students. The program complements the studies of students with an academic focus or career interests related to the electric utility industry and cooperative business.
Like many student employees before him, Boss is a reflection of success for the cooperative’s work-study program. A recent graduate of Bowdon High School and student in the WBL program, he is now pursuing a heavy diesel certification while working part-time in the cooperative’s vehicle shop.
“Working at Carroll EMC, I’ve gained more hands-on experience with diesel engines, hydraulics and AC systems,” said Boss. “I had prior experience having also worked at Jordan Truck Sales and the Carroll County Bus Barn, so I think that’s what set me apart from other WBL students for the award—I’ve already started my pathway in the automotive industry and am doing well.”
Since 2000, more than 70 students have been hired through Carroll EMC’s work-study program, and currently, 25 remain at the cooperative as full-time employees. With a number of fields at their fingertips, including administration, technology, logistics and construction, students are encouraged to explore and cross-train in different departments.
“I started my professional career as a student employee here at the cooperative,” said President and CEO for Carroll EMC, Tim Martin. “I left the co-op world for a while but didn’t stay away long, so that’s a testament to the program and the industry itself. It’s a great starting point for any career path.”
As a WBL business partner for over a decade, Carroll EMC supports the program’s mission to prepare students for the world of work through both academic and workplace learning. Student supervisors work closely with WBL coordinators to mentor students as they receive on-the-job training that reinforces their coursework and career goals.
To be considered for the business partner of the year award, a WBL coordinator must nominate a business partner who is considered exemplary by hiring, mentoring and supporting students in their school system. GACTE’s leadership board reviews hundreds of nominations including those from more than 30 counties in metro-Atlanta that make up the Northwest region.
“As an educator for over 30 years and a WBL coordinator for 17 years, I have never seen a company pour into their student employees more than Carroll EMC,” wrote now retired WBL coordinator for Carroll County Schools, Marcia Morris. “Whether it be career guidance, personal counseling or educational guidance, Carroll EMC invests in their employees.”
Award recipients were recognized at GACTE’s summer conference in Jekyll Island mid-June.