The Newnan Times-Herald

Opinion

Support apprenticeship program with ESPLOST vote


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Mar. 18, 2017 - 3:05 AM

I wish to add my voice to the many Coweta County citizens, education and business leaders who are actively supporting the continuation of ESPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local Sales Tax) and to ask you to vote “yes” Tuesday for the future funding of the many important educational programs that directly contribute to Coweta County’s prosperity.

In particular, I am excited about the apprenticeship program, the first one ever established in the United States, which involves a cohort of high school students under the tutelage of the Coweta County School System and the Central Educational Center (CEC). This effort, based upon the centuries-old German apprenticeship model, is an answer to a decades-old desire for U.S. manufacturing industries and businesses to educate young talent through hands-on technical skills within the trades they wish to enter. It will only be possible if the school system and the CEC have the funds to do the job.

I have been privileged for the past five years to work with school system, CEC and industries to help birth the apprenticeship program in Coweta County. Without the support of the internationally acclaimed Central Educational Center, under the auspices of the Coweta County School System, the Technical College System of Georgia and the local industry, this would have been an even more difficult challenge. But without the funds generated through the ESPLOST, it would never have been possible.

As an engineer and a German national, my understanding of the importance of the apprenticeship model is deeply ingrained. As a resident of Coweta County, I have been able to appreciate just how special its people are to the success of the past decades. The ability of the leaders of education, government and business through the years to come together and not only solve problems but to provide for future needs is unusual and outstanding.

Providing skilled labor to business is essential to its success, and it provides good paying jobs to our youth which keeps them in our community contributing to Coweta’s success. Let’s make it a priority to vote Tuesday for the continuation of the ESPLOST funding and the continued prosperity of our community.

Martin Pleyer, chief operating officer

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