Cherokee Central School, Swain County Schools and Haywood Community Learning Center signed the agreement Aug. 30. Co-enrolling will give students the flexibility they need to earn a high school diploma or high school equivalency degree, participate in interscholastic sports and learn a trade at the same time.
“As we prepare our students for post-secondary education and the workforce, this partnership offers additional pathways to student success and achievement, and it's in our own front yard," said Debora Forest, principal of Cherokee High School.
“We are very excited about this new opportunity to work with Oconaluftee Job Corps,” added HCLC Director Kyle Ledford. “We believe the leveraging of our resources and the talents of our people will form a great partnership, which will offer at-risk youth in Western North Carolina the ability to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to create a competitive advantage for themselves and our communities as the state transitions to a knowledge-based economy.”
The Oconaluftee JCCC borders the tribal lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and is located within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Job Corps program prepares economically disadvantaged youth nationwide, ages 16-24, for productive employment. Civilian Conservation Centers are managed through an inter-agency agreement of the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of Labor. The Oconaluftee JCCC is run through a partnership of the Forest Service and National Park Service.