Education Workforce Readiness

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Education Workforce Readiness

The Shoals Chamber of Commerce Education & Workforce Readiness department functions as a liaison between business and educational groups to offer opportunities for communication and to develop programs and activities that will prepare students for productive careers within the Shoals area.   

We have a goal to inform educators and students of quality, high-pay, high-skill careers available in the Shoals and the career pathways necessary to attain those jobs. We also assist postsecondary educators in the development of curriculum and industry certification to meet the skillsets required.


Choices is an interactive decision-making workshop that empowers teens to achieve academic success in pursuit of their career and life aspirations.  In two 50-minute sessions, local business and  community volunteers take students through real-world exercises on academic self-discipline, time and money  management, and goal setting. Teens  discover that they can take charge of  their lives.  Choices is typically presented at the 8th or 9th grade level, since these students are old enough to envision the future, yet young enough to develop positive skills and habits for success in high school and beyond.

Website: http:www.choices.org

  • Contact:  
    Stephanie Newland, Vice President of Education Workforce Readiness
    e: snewland@shoalschamber.com p: 256-764-4661
         

Reality Check

A program of the Shoals Chamber of Commerce and the Alabama 4-H Consumer Science Project.

Reality Check is a fun money management program for grades 7-12. It is a simulation of life at age 25. Each participant chooses a career that interests them.  They're given an average salary for the career, a level of education and a family situation. They visit the various real-life stations monitored by volunteers and learn what it takes to make it financially.

The Experience

  • A hands-on, real-life simulation that gives youth the opporunity to glance into the future in a fun and exciting way.
  • An understanding of gross and net pay.
  • The experience of payin monthly living expenses.
  • The practice of writing a check and use of an account ledger
  • An opportunity to comparison shop to stay within a budget

Reality Check Stations

  • Automotive - purchase a vehicle or choose alternate transportation like a bus pass.
  • Reality - Select housing arrangements
  • Clothing - Purchase at least one item from the clothing booth
  • Super Mart - Groceries and personal items are a mandatory purchase
  • That's Life - Random life occurences.  Participants draw a card and either make a payment or have unexpected income.
  • Utilities - Electricity, gas, water and a phone are required.  Cable TV and internet are optional expenses.
  • Insurance - Health insurance is a required expense.  Life, dental and renter's insurance are optional.  Car insurance is included with the car purchase.
  • Just for Fun - Work/life balance is important.  Everyone must purchase one form of entertainment.
  • Jobs - Sometimes there is "more month than money".  If someone is in need of a part-time job, they can get it here
  • Daycare - Working participants with children must pay for daycare.
  • Bank - Put money into a savings account, mutual fund, 401k, or CD and pay a student loan.
  • Helping Hands Volunteer - Participants have the option of donating any amount of money they choose to a charitable organization.

  • Contact:  Stephanie Newland, Vice President of Education Workforce Readiness
    e: snewland@shoalschamber.com     p: 256-764-4661