"It's a Go!" Sumter County Board of Education, Great Promise Partnership, and Development Authority Launch New Business Program

by the Sumter County Development Authority

SUMTER COUNTY, GA – The Great Promise Partnership (GPP), Sumter County Board of Education, and Sumter County Development Authority, in conjunction with our businesses and private leadership, have all come together to give high school students a hand in their future through employment and mentoring.

The Issue

For some students, staying in school through graduation can be particularly challenging. It is estimated that 1.3 million Georgians over the age of 18 don't have a high school diploma and are not adequately prepared for the workplace.

Although Sumter County is experiencing economic growth, for some businesses, there is a widening gap between what employers need to continue growing and what our labor pool currently offers.

Community Solution

Our high school is implementing varied strategies to reach out, place precisely, and monitor students with career education placement through the Great Promise Partnership program.

Three students have already qualified for the program and will begin their paid internships when school is back in session. Each is currently going through a series of interviews with GPP, school staff, and future employers.

The program brings together public and private partnerships, mentors, and positive workplaces, giving students a reason to stay in school and work hard.

The Student

  • ­­Attains a high school diploma while spending part of the day at a paying job. Rules require students to stay in school to keep their job.
  • Learns soft skills: how to speak in an interview, how to dress, etc.
  • Develops workplace skills: communication, goal-setting, decision making.
  • Develops new relationships with adult role models who will become their mentors.
  • Receives additional attention and counseling to prepare them for college, the military, or the workforce while working on leadership skills.
  • Receives on-the-job training and career coaching.
  • Holds an entry-level position with "real deliverables and "expectations."

The County, Cities, Schools, and Residents

  • Benefit from a lower dropout rate and a more robust economy.
  • Obtain a new workforce.
  • Will have been a part of new community and business partnerships.

The Employer

  • Has a hand in producing a stronger local and state economy.
  • Acquires a skilled workforce with potential summer interns and, after-graduation, full-time employees.
  • Plays a leadership role in the community.
  • Receives the expertise of Great Promise staff, who will mentor them to help mentor the students.
  • Has the chance to provide life skills to the student— as a partner in the community. Workplace supervisors play a vital role in the Program's success as students develop job skills and explore career pathways.

The Future

Any business interested in sponsoring a qualified high school student during the spring semester, please contact the Sumter County Development Authority. 


About the Great Promise Partnership

The Governor's office supports the Great Promise Partnership, recently making GPP a part of the State Board of Education.

Currently, 52 counties are involved in the Program; several more are considered developing sites; Sumter County is the state's newest member.

Please visit the Great Promise Partnership website for more information about the program.

Regional Coordinator: Hilda Garrison