The 21st century workforce requires a unique blend of technical and leadership skills. Employer feedback indicates that while students entering the workforce are proficient in the “hard” skills they need, they do not exhibit the teamwork, communication, and conflict management “soft”skills necessary for the current work environment.
In an effort to meet the needs of today’s changing, high-performance workforce while simultaneously addressing the needs of teachers and students, the Fanning Institute created a multi-phased, systemic, and scalable approach to improve students’ workforce success through leadership development, Career Leadership SMARTS (Students Managing All Resources Today for Success).
Rather than the traditional approach to leadership skill development of introducing new concepts into separate classroom exercises, CL SMARTS embeds leadership concepts into every level of learning, including school culture, teacher education, and in-school youth instruction.
CL SMARTS was piloted at two Georgia College and Career Academy (GCCA) sites: Central Educational Center in Newnan and THINC Academy in LaGrange. This collaboration between the Technical College System of Georgia, GCCA, and the University of Georgia met the mission of all three organizations: to prepare today’s youth for success in adulthood. Through this partnership, 25 teachers and 373 students at GCCA sites participated in this leadership and soft-skills program. Combining teacher training with student instruction, CL SMARTS fosters both the development of and increased understanding in the traits that are indicators of a dynamic and e¬ffective workforce.
For more information on CL Smarts, contact public service associate Lauren Healey.