A Case Statement representing
the Four-year Strategic Plan of
Public Education Partners
for Aiken County
Aiken County is home to a growing number of national and multi-national companies as well as long-time corporate citizens. Business parks attract new business, further diversifying the County’s economic base, while hundreds of small businesses exist to service these companies and the citizens of Aiken County. Employers of all sizes share a fundamental element for success – a consistent source of highly qualified employees.
Maximizing the education experience for our youth while readying them for careers is the key for continued economic growth throughout Aiken County. To assure a healthy economy for our citizens and a workforce on which our employers can depend well into the 21st century, we must:
· Ensure students in K-12 education acquire necessary basic skills,
· Help students set realistic career goals targeting workplace opportunities,
· Attract adults with low skill levels back into the education system.
In 1995, a unique blend of visionaries came together and created a strategy to move Aiken County to the forefront in economic and community development – AIKEN 20/20. This program established a vision for education: “Aiken County will provide the highest quality educational opportunity for citizens of all ages and will actively involve the entire community as partners in the process.” From that vision, Public Education Partners (formerly GALEF) was born.
In 2000, a clear mandate emerged for the continued presence of an advocate as well as a partner that would link public education and the business community to promote constructive change. In response, a diverse group of community and business leaders came together to develop a new plan for Public Education Partners that would span the next four years and serve all areas of the district. The vision was to establish Aiken County as a premier 21st century education community.
Success Today! is the collaborative response to underwrite this ambitious program which encompasses the spirit of Public Education Partners’ leadership team to make Aiken County a premier 21st century education community.
Now is the time to put this strategic plan into action as business, education and community partner for Success Today!.
Our Strategic Plan details those components of this four-year initiative and we encourage you to review and study the plan. Go to Strategic Plan. to learn those elements that will impact the educational opportunities of our youth well into the future.
Success Today! will directly impact the Aiken County business community. Specific results will include:
· An increase in workforce numbers equipped with basic skills.
· A workforce informed about manufacturing-based career opportunities.
· A workforce trained and occupationally ready to enter a manufacturing career.
Results will be measured in year four using existing methods to assess the impact from implementation of the four-year strategic plan. We group outcomes for families, adults and K12 students.
1. Figure 1 projects a dramatic increase in those adults who complete a high school diploma and the number of family learning center participants. Success Today! will result in a 100 percent increase from 2000 to 2004.
2. Figure 2 tracks both math and reading proficiency scores comparing 2000 to 2004, the percent of 8th graders scoring proficient or higher on the PACT test for language and math. Success Today! will result in an increase, surpassing state gains for Aiken County.
Citizen and business leaders have come together from across Aiken County to support public education via Public Education Partners’ Four-year Strategic Plan. These leaders are committed to the vision of Aiken County as a premier 21st century education community and invite you to join Success Today!
Cindy Besson, M.D.,F.A.C.O.G.
John Bradley, Ph.D., Chairman
Aiken County Board of Education
Fred B. Cavanaugh, Jr., Mayor
City of Aiken
Tim Dangerfield, Vice President
Linda Eldridge, Ph.D., Superintendent
Consolidated School District of Aiken County
Lawana Furtick, Broker In Charge
The Furtick Company
Susan Graham, Ph.D., President
Aiken Technical College
John L. Girardeau, President
Southern Mortgage Company, Inc.
Tom Hallman, Ph.D., President
University of South Carolina - Aiken
Lark W. Jones, Mayor
City of North Augusta
June Murff, President
Aiken Chamber of Commerce
Lessie Price, Manager, Community Assistance Department
Westinghouse, Savannah River Site
Betty Ryberg, Community Representative
Ricky Satcher, Chief Executive Officer
Aiken Regional Medical Centers
Nancy Smith, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent, Area 2
Consolidated School District of Aiken County
Jeff Spears, Senior Vice-President
Bank of America
Gary L. Stooksbury, Chief Executive Officer
Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Steve Sucher, Human Resources
Bridgestone-Firestone South Carolina
E. Sutton, Director of Grants & Community Development
United Way Aiken County
Tommy B. Wessinger, Chairman & CEO
People’s Community Bank
Inease Williamson, President
Wagener Insurance Agency & Realty, Inc.
Ronnie Young, Chairman
Aiken County Council