Shaw Industries Group has enhanced its STEM/STEAM educational partnerships with new and expanded relationships with City Park Elementary School in Dalton, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Great Promise Partnership (GPP).

These programs are part of the Shaw’s comprehensive and ongoing educational partnerships. Through education, mentorship and hands-on experience, Shaw is showcasing to students from elementary school to college the rewarding careers available within the manufacturing field through an increased focus on science, technology, engineering, math and arts.

“Manufacturing offers a wide variety of career options—from designers to data analysts, marketing to maintenance,” said Brian Cooksey, director of operations training and development at Shaw. “Our educational partnerships allow students to find their passions and to see how they might apply those interests and skills in their future careers. We’re helping develop the workforce of the future and providing students in the regions where we operate the opportunity to expand their horizons in ways they may not have previously considered.”

In partnership with CGLA, Shaw associates recently introduced a mentorship program for students in the 11th and 12th grades. Designed by the WiN Mentorship Team, the program partners 10 girls from the academy with 10 inspiring Shaw leaders for the school year. The Shaw mentors represent all areas of the company, exposing students to a variety of careers and professional perspectives. 

“It was incredibly rewarding to see the room light up with laughter and nervous excitement as our Shaw associates and CGLA students met for the first time recently,” said Melissa Pateritsas, an IT manager at Shaw and a WiN steering team member. “Connecting with the students in person and hearing their thoughtful questions and perspectives helped set the foundation for what we hope will become long-lasting relationships to help guide and shape these young women's career paths.”

With GPP, Shaw provides employment opportunities to current high school students, enabling them to earn wages while earning their diploma and develop skills that will help them more readily enter the workforce post-graduation. Students gain hands-on experience in Shaw facilities and receive mentorship from Shaw associates to supplement their classwork.

Shaw began its collaboration with GPP in 2015 with students working in Shaw’s samples department in Dalton. The program has expanded to additional areas of the company’s manufacturing process. Students from Cass and Woodland High schools, in partnership with the Bartow County College and Career Academy, began work at two of Shaw’s manufacturing facilities in Cartersville, Ga., in the fall 2016.

WiN is a program created to support the development of leaders at Shaw through resources and opportunities that help women drive successful careers. WiN provides access to educational resources and training focused on career development and core competencies, mentorship, volunteerism, networking and more.

Recognizing the important contributions of women within our industry and workplace, WiN offers a platform to engage, connect and grow—helping create a better future in the process.

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