ATLANTA – Citing approximately 55,000 new jobs being created annually in agribusiness, U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks brought educators and business leaders together to encourage students to consider it as a career path.
Brooks, R-5th District, hosted the inaugural “Connecting Careers & Classrooms” at Beck’s Hybrids on Thursday.
“I’ve talked with lots of kids about their career path,” Brooks said. “They know about traditional careers, but few understand the different business sectors.”
While a student in the Fort Wayne area, Brooks said, her teachers and guidance counselors directed her career path into becoming an attorney.
“I hope this will start a dialogue,” Brooks said of the conference. “My goal is to give schools new ideas to engage with businesses."
Brooks said there are 4 million jobs in the United States that employers can’t fill because they can’t find people with the skills and backgrounds to fill the positions.
“Urban and suburban kids need to know about jobs in the agriculture sector,” she said. “Agriculture is not just a part of our past, but our future. Bringing schools and businesses together is critical.”
Vince Bertram, president of Project Lead The Way, said everyone has an important role in preparing the next generation.
He said the program will be in 7,000 schools across the nation next fall in an effort to prepare students for the future.
“How do we engage business leaders and educators to benefit students?” Bertram asked. “When students think about agriculture they think about the supply chain and equipment. Right now there is a lot of technology that is making the industry grow.”
Brandon Cloud, a guidance counselor at Fishers High School and a part-time farmer in Tipton County, said he attended the conference to gear students for a job in agriculture that pays well in a secure industry.