Davie Co. teachers, businesses partnering to better workforce development

MOCKSVILLE, N.C — While most teachers are looking forward to wrapping up the end of the school year, David Koontz is getting ready for a whole new set of classes.

“Being a teacher, you have to be sort of a life-long learner,” said David Koontz, who teaches technology at Davie County High School.

Starting June 12, he’ll become a student all over again.

He’s one of several teachers interning at four businesses in Davie County as part of a new partnership between county schools and local industries.

“More industries are moving into our area,” said Donna McNeil, a coordinator of the program. “As they move in, Davie County needs to provide the skilled workforce.”

Koontz and others will have two weeks to learn skills needed to work in health care and manufacturing — the biggest industries in the county.

They’ll have one year to take those skills and come up with new curriculum for students to get them more job ready.

“Distribution in the Triad area is becoming a big thing,” said Mike Jenkins, facility manager of VF Jeanswear in Mocksville.

Jenkins says workers need computer and processing skills to work the facility which distributes more than 35 million units of jeans and clothing throughout the country a year.

He plans on teaching those skills to Koontz and other teachers in the program.

“A lot of kids come of school and enter the real world without knowledge of what the expectations are,” Jenkins said.

Koontz plans to master these skills so that he can pass them on to students.

“It’s something I can bring back and prepare our kids more,” Koontz said.

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