When it comes to preparing students for life, the McDuffie County Board of Education is thinking outside the box.
Not only does the school system focus on preparing students for college, now they are preparing them for the work force.
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, school board members, the superintendent and assistant superintendents will tour three local industrial sites, Shaw Industries, Inc., Thomson Plastics, Inc., and Milsco Manufacturing Company, to get a sense of work force requirements and development.
"I think we're stepping outside the box. ... Everybody's got a niche in life. Our job is to get people ready to go to college, but not all of our kids are going to college. Not all of them are going to technical school. A lot of them are going straight to work, and we've got to get them ready to go in the work force," said Mark Petersen, superintendent of McDuffie County Schools.
Dr. Petersen said he believes preparing the students for industry will help the economic development of the county. The quality of the schools will also encourage more industry to move to McDuffie County.
"This will be the first time we've given a tour for the school board. I think they'd like to see what we manufacture here, and we look forward to giving them more detail in what we do," said Dan Carsner, director of operations at Milsco.
Another livelihood the school board is working on for the students is military service.
Dr. Petersen said he has applied for, and is on a waiting list to have, a local Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps.
The JROTC program is a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school.
"That would help out a bunch of our kids, because a bunch of our kids go in the service," Dr. Petersen said.