The Manchester Chamber of Commerce website may be expanding soon to offer resources to schools in the form of video interviews. Project WEB, which stands for workforce, education and business, is taking their mission of connecting educators and community stakeholders online.

Project Web and Chamber of Commerce members will be actively searching for professionals in the industry who are willing to be in a video explaining their career. The target audience of the videos will be middle schoolers, so students can be informed before they get locked into a career and technical education pathway in high school.

Director of Schools LaDonna McFall approved of the idea and said she had something similar when she was in school.

“A lot of kids think of a degree, but don’t exactly know how that translates into a profession,” McFall said. “Just to let them know, ‘oh with marketing, you could be the chamber director?’”

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Katy Riddle explained their goal would be to start small with one video per pathway offered at Central High School and expand on it from there. The framework is already laid out for them too. Before the recent county career fair, the students took a survey to let the chamber and school administration know what careers and pathways there were interested in learning about. Students answers will give Project Web members an idea on where to start.

The group wants to start with 10 industries and work up from there.

“If you cater to the middle school, you have to cater to the middle school,” said Mick Shuran, Coffee County’s director of instruction.

 “It needs to be something they’re interested in watching,” he added.

He explained that they videos would need to be entertaining for that age level, such as an “MTV Cribs” setup instead of people just talking to a camera. He gave the example of a video tour of Tennessee College of Applied Technology facilities.

The videos would all contain similar information, such as the jobs in a career pathway, what specific job responsibilities are, what education/certification is needed for that job, pros and cons of the career and salaries.

The videos can be paid for by existing grant money. For this to work, there will need to be an anti-drug and/or an anti-alcohol message in the video.

News Editor

Casey recently joined the Manchester Times team in March 2018. Coming off a 17-month reporter stint in Port Chester, NY, she is looking forward to slowing down and integrating herself into the community. She currently resides in Manchester.

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