The Georgia Department of Labor’s (GDOL) GeorgiaBEST program is being implemented at Pepperell High School in conjunction with the school's successful High School 101 course available to freshmen. The program, an acronym for Business Ethics Student Training, is designed to help teens make a successful transition from high school to college or the workforce by developing their “soft skills.” These skills have been a focus of the HS 101 class for several years at Pepperell. "Soft skills" include: work ethic, positive attitude, communications skills, time management, self confidence and other valuable skills that are not job specific but vital to the success of a student or employee.
“GeorgiaBEST is a perfect fit for Pepperell High,” said Phil Ray, the principal of PHS. “The skills emphasized in GeorgiaBEST are crucial to the success of our students in the future workforce, and it will complement what we are doing in our unique High School 101 class that prepares our students for their lives after high school.”
Alana Ellenburg, PHS teacher of High School 101, and John Pillsbury, community volunteer working with the freshman program, have involved community business leaders in providing information to teens in the class about valuable skills employers look for in employees. The two recently completed a series of mock interviews at the school where business leaders participated in interviews with students to give them experience with this essential element in getting a quality job. Students completing the High School 101 class, which includes hands-on activities such as the mock interviews and dressing for success, will receive “soft skills” certificates from the Georgia Department of Labor.
“We are delighted to have Pepperell High School join more than 200 other high schools across the state in our GeorgiaBEST program,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “We are in our third year of the program and last year more than 5,000 students became Georgia BEST- certified. GeorgiaBEST equips our young people with the necessary skills to succeed in today’s workforce.”
There is no cost to the high schools to participate in the GeorgiaBEST program. GDOL provides certificates to all students in all high schools who complete the program.
Photo: Rachel Eaves, a freshman at Pepperell High, participates in a mock job interview during the High School 101 Mock Interviews held in March.