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High School Seniors Drop Out Rates

By: Rayne McKenzie
By: Rayne McKenzie

The Alabama Department of Education is reporting that Headland High School has one of the highest drop out rates in the state, but a local organization is working to turn that around.

Almost 30 percent of these students will not graduate high school that is if the state trend continues.

Members of the Henry County Workforce Development Academy are creating a program to help keep more students in the classroom.

"We want them to see that if they stay in high school and get that diploma or GED all kinds of jobs in state are high paying in areas that don't require a college degrees," says Mary Claire Wilson.

Local high schools are working with the group and say if students could find a career they were interested in, many would probably think twice before quitting.

Henry Co. Superintendent Dennis Coe says. "We're looking to grasp any idea the students might show interest in and try to solve the drop out problem."

After the loss of WestPoint Stevens in Henry County which brought 700 jobs to the area, more people are realizing the importance of keeping trained workers in the area.

Wilson says, "It affects the bottom line when we have the loss of a company and while think this program sounds like an educational program it is really an economic development program."

Many of those jobs available are in the area of aviation, where the median salary is around $18 an hour, that's without a college degree.

Both the Abbeville and Headland workforce development locations are scheduled to open by the first next year.


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