CREATE to host career readiness community forums

CREATE’s Toyota Wellspring Advisory Committee will host a community forum in New Albany next week to discuss the need for improvement in K-12 career awareness and readiness in public schools.

The forum, set for 5:15 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 20, at Magnolia Civic Center, will be one of three to be held in Union, Pontotoc and Lee counties.

MDC, Inc. of Durham, North Carolina has been retained to analyze the region’s current career readiness assets and to develop a plan that will lead to a stronger career readiness system for the K-12 students in Lee, Pontotoc, and Union Counties. CREATE’s Toyota Wellspring Advisory Committee is interested in community input and support as the components of this initiative are being put together.

“We want to talk about a comprehensive initiative we believe can truly lift our school systems to new heights,” said Sean Suggs, vice president of administration for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi and a member of the committee.

Between now and November, MDC, Inc. will deliver a baseline assessment, review local data, interview key stakeholders, study the local workforce and convene focus groups.

The organization will deliver a final report designed to help a leadership council focus its priorities.

The organization aims to help communities close the gaps that separate people from opportunity and success. Spokesmen with CREATE say the goal is to ensure children from the region not only reach their top earning potential, but also stay in the region and thrive.

Other community forums will be held at 5:15 p.m., Monday, Aug. 18, at Pontotoc Ridge Career & Technology Center, 354 Center Ridge Dr. in Pontotoc and at 7:30 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 19, at CREATE Foundation, 213 West Main St. in Tupelo.

CREATE Foundation is asking for community input on this topic.