” Workforce Development and Education initiatives are crucial to the future of South Carolina. According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, “critical needs” jobs account for 45 percent of the workforce while only 29 percent of people have the necessary skills to fill these jobs. ”
South Carolina Chamber of Commerce

SC CAREER KIDS

“Where EVERYDAY is Career Day”

SC Career Kids “starts with the end in mind”. We nurture the skill set that makes the 21st century graduate a successful, contributing member of the community. We seize the crucial years of a child’s brain development to explore careers and their interests.

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Our Story

HOW IT STARTED:

As the world began to close in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19, Katy Wiggs saw the need for young children to have a safe place to learn when their schools temporarily shut their doors. The early childhood educator viewed this as an opportunity to model “outside the box thinking “for her two young children. Katy wanted this “making lemonade out of lemons experience” to empower kids to improve their world, starting now as young students riding the waves of a pandemic.

Mrs. Wiggs partnered with the Irmo Chamber of Commerce, hired a certified teacher and a beloved assistant, gathered a handful of kids, and together they embarked on the journey of experiential learning. The Chamber quickly transformed into “the one-room schoolhouse” where community leaders and business owners visited and shared about their careers.

Throughout the pandemic school year, career exploration organically grew into our routine. Students collaborated and learned how to communicate effectively. Teachers stood back and watched young children understand the importance of listening to others’ perspectives that were different from their own. The kids became problem solvers to meet the present needs of their community! Hosting a canned food drive at the Chamber of Commerce, adopting six local families in need during the holidays, we viewed the pandemic disruption in traditional learning as a possibility to reimagine, revitalize education!

From creating pretend hair salons, establishing restaurants featuring nature salads highlighted on the menu, engineering with Legos, painting story sets, crafting jewelry, designing and selling their stationery, the experiential program took root. The children were encouraged to think big, take the initiative, invent, create, and design.  They engaged in activities that developed from their interest and curiosity! The program was so successful that once described as a “solution to the pandemic,” it became the vision of growing the South Carolina talent pipeline for future leaders. Quite literally, from the ground up!

“We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”
Mary McLeod Bethune

Enjoy traveling around our great state of South Carolina to learn more about future career opportunities!

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