from staff reports
The Meridian Star
The East Mississippi Business Development Corporation is looking for businesses to participate in its School Counts program.
Businesses who choose to participate commit to grant students enrolled in the School Counts program priority in the interviewing and hiring process.
The program is designed for students in grades 10-12. Students who qualify are granted a School Counts ID if they:
• Achieve a 97 percent attendance and punctuality record.
• Earn a grade of "C" or better in each course.
• Are on target to graduate with their class.
• Exhibit positive behavior at school by having no more than one office referral per semester.
Each Fall 10th grade students are introduced to School Counts.
"EMBDC has recently completed the recruiting meetings at Meridian's five area high schools and received great student response at each," according to an EMBDC press release. "School Counts strives to improve workforce preparedness in Meridian and Lauderdale County."
"School Counts is truly a win-win for schools, students and businesses," EMBDC President Wade Jones said. "By continuing to work together, we can make a difference in our community, our schools and in the lives of our young people."
A benefit of hiring students who present a School Counts ID card is knowing that they have exhibited the work ethic and dependability needed to participate in the program, the press release states.
Businesses are under no obligation, however, to hire only School Counts applicants.
In addition to School Counts, the EMBDC’s educational programs include Head of the Class, Workforce Development, and a new program, Mississippi Scholars, which will be launched this spring.
"The East Mississippi Business Development Corporation is committed to excellence in education and improving school performance," the press release states.
There are more than 120 area businesses participating in the School Counts program. To participate, e-mail Debbie Mathis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 601-693-1306. Business enrollment forms can also be downloaded from the EMBDC website at www.embdc.org under Chamber of Commerce > Education Initiatives.