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Ashland City, TN – The Cheatham County School District regularly contracts with WorkForce Essentials, Inc. (WEI) to provide services such as employee drug testing. However, this working relationship is slowly evolving into an educational partnership.
With the help of Renea Rosson, director of career services in Ashland City, WEI provided two interns to assist the school district throughout the summer months.
Ashton Blakeley and Maghan Pendleton entered WEI’s “Paid Work Experience” program, which is fully funded through the federal Workforce Investment Act.
Rosson said, “This program allows individuals to earn income while gaining work experience.”
According to Rosson, Blakeley and Pendleton were matched with Cheatham County Schools due to their pursuit of a degree in the field of education. “During this program, we match our clients to employers based on their career field choice. In this case, Ashton and Maghan were matched with the school system because they are both education majors,” she added.
Rosson said Blakeley and Pendleton assisted with the district’s summer school programs at Harpeth High School and Cheatham County Central High School then moved to the central office. “These ladies began their work experience in May and will continue through the end of August. This will give them several weeks to see how they like working in their chosen career field,” she said.
Having grown up together in Cheatham County and becoming lifelong friends, Blakeley and Pendleton graduated in 2011 from Sycamore High School. They are currently seniors at Austin Peay State University and plan to graduate in May 2016.
Both students are earning their licensure in K-6 interdisciplinary studies with a minor in professional education.
Blakeley said the Paid Work Experience program provides tuition assistance, travel assistance, summer work experience, and covers the cost of licensure testing.
“This experience has helped me see the importance of every department in the school district, especially in the central office,” she added.
Pendleton said this opportunity has opened her eyes to the work that goes on behind the scenes.
“I had no idea of all the work that goes on during the summer months. This experience has shown me the big picture of everything that goes on in the district,” she said.
Both students want to teach in Cheatham County, which they call home.
“I look forward to working with Cheatham County students to help them discover their love for math,” said Blakeley.
Pendleton said, “I want to teach students in elementary school – I love babies.”
Janice Thomas, administrative assistant at the central office said, “These girls are absolutely fabulous and it makes me excited to see up and coming teachers headed down the right path.”
Rosson said individuals expressing interest in the Paid Work Experience program may contact her office in Ashland City at (615) 792-2520.
WorkForce Essentials, Inc. is a private, non-profit corporation specializing in unique business solutions for employers, innovative training opportunities for individuals, and a Driver Education Program. Their offices are located throughout middle and west Tennessee.
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102 Elizabeth Street
Ashland City, TN 37015