ASHEBORO — Harvard Graduate School of Education released a report in 2011 entitled Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century. From this report, leadership at Randolph Community College (RCC), Randolph County School System (RCSS) and Asheboro City Schools (ACS) partnered to launch Pathways to Prosperity, a project in Randolph County intended to forge four seamless pathways that could lead students from high school directly into post-secondary technical education that would lead them to skilled jobs, such as advanced manufacturing.
The first pathways to emerge from the partnership included advanced manufacturing and hospitality and tourism, which were rolled out in 2015. Pathways for the health sciences were added in 2016. Agriculture is part of the plan beginning fall 2017.
The efforts of the partnership, led by RCC President Dr. Robert Shackleford, RCSS Superintendent Dr. Stephen Gainey and ACS Superintendent Dr. Terry Worrell, have snowballed. In April, the three educational partners were awarded a $960,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to further advance their collaborative efforts in the Pathways to Prosperity program.
“This (project) is the city schools, the county schools and RCC working together to create a seamless pathway for students to go from high school, through RCC into great careers here in our community,” Shackleford said during the July 13 check presentation event.
The Pathways to Prosperity project was also identified as part of Randolph County’s Strategic Plan. So when the Golden Leaf Foundation grant application required a 20 percent match, the county stepped in with support. Well ahead of the budgeting process for 2017-18, commissioners approved $240,000, revenue generated by the leasing of the regional landfill space, to match the grant.
The funds, which with the county match totals $1.2…