Members of Hinesville’s Rotary Club heard and tasted proof Tuesday that Liberty College & Career Academy is successful.
The club’s weekly luncheon and meeting took place at the LCCA, where lunch was prepared by the school’s culinary-arts students.
“We’re all about getting young people started in a career they’re interested in,” LCCA CEO Tom Alexander said. “Today, I want to thank you for allowing our culinary arts students to practice their skills.”
Students from Bradwell Institute and Liberty County High School, who were dressed in waiter hats and aprons, served club members salads and drinks as members helped themselves to a buffet of meatloaf with marinara sauce, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and fresh rolls.
Alexander said they promise three things to students who take classes at LCCA — they’ll learn how to do a job, how to get a job and how to keep a job. The school offers several pathways or career fields, including culinary arts, therapeutic services (nursing and medical services), teaching as a profession, aircraft support, metals (aka welding), construction, engineering, graphic communication, law and justice and interior design.
“For every job that opens up, there are six applications, nationally,” Alexander said, explaining learning a job skill was not enough. “About 41 percent of fired employees are fired because of poor workplace ethics.”
Students also learn to complete an application and resume and develop interviewing skills. More importantly, they’re taught the importance of punctuality, dressing appropriately for the job and using proper communication.
Alexander said LCCA is a special kind of charter school that cooperates, rather than competes, with local public high schools. Students in grades nine-12 are eligible to take classes at LCCA. Although this semester just started, he said most pathways are full, while others are nearly full. He said students are there because they really want to be there; consequently, LCCA has few behavior problems.
Alexander said he hoped LCCA also would benefit both Liberty County’s high schools by increasing their graduation rates.
Alexander told the members, many of whom were business leaders, that LCCA was looking to increase its business partnerships and could use sponsors for its career camps, competitions, textbooks for students in dual programs, uniforms and especially scholarships. Member Brigitte Shanken later told Alexander she believed the Rotary Club would be interested in being a scholarship sponsor. Several members agreed.
Alexander said students who complete their chosen pathway can go directly to Savannah Tech to pursue further certification or an associate’s degree. Peter Hoffman, director for the Armstrong Atlantic State University Liberty Center, said LCCA’s medical, engineering and teaching pathways would fit well with AASU’s programs.
Following his presentation, Alexander led a guided tour through the campus. Members asked about specific programs, including businesses being able to make use of the school’s graphic department and its “school-based enterprise.”
For more information about the LCCA, call 876-4904.