DCSD’s Key to Career program and school counselors tour Nucor Steel
School counselors and career specialists from across the Darlington County School District (DCSD) got a chance to tour one of the area’s premiere manufacturing facilities recently. The visit to Nucor Steel of Darlington provided district employees with valuable experiences that will help them guide students into both college and the workforce after high school.
DCSD’s Key to Career program works with business and industry to provide work-based learning experiences for students, particularly through paid internships. Key to Career arranges tours like the Nucor visit throughout the year for counselors and career specialists, according to Quinetta Buterbaugh, the district’s business engagement coordinator.
“Engagement with the business community is the backbone of the Key to Career program,” Buterbaugh said. “One of the most powerful things businesses can do to shape our workforce is to partner with the district by speaking with our students, opening its doors for tours and demonstrations, and mentoring through our internship program. We are grateful for the generous time and resources Nucor Steel gives throughout the school year to children in Darlington County.”
The day began with an in-depth presentation by Nucor Vice President and General Manager Doyle Hopper, including the history of the company and opportunities available to potential employees. Hopper also discussed the Nucor Technical Academy, which provides fully paid schooling and training for employee candidates each year. Hopper explained how students coming out of high school have an excellent opportunity to launch a long and prosperous career with Nucor.
“Young people must seek advice, ask questions and prepare themselves to be fully equipped for their future,” Hopper said. “It is important for Nucor to partner with the school district and help educate the folks who are guiding Darlington County’s students about the opportunities we offer at Nucor.”
Following Hopper’s presentation, about a dozen Nucor employees from across the career spectrum led tours of the facility. The counselors and career specialists got up-close insight into career offerings and the skills necessary for potential employees.
Jennifer Dunn, a school counselor at Hartsville High School, said the tour will help her in working with students in the future.
“Our visit at Nucor was very enlightening. I was extremely impressed with Nucor’s culture, variety of available jobs and their commitment to the local community,” she said. “Darlington County is fortunate to have such a prestigious employer providing opportunities for long-term career growth.”
Key to Career, which is headed up by Buterbaugh, plans to continue coordinating visits to local businesses and industry for the district’s educators. The program will also hold its spring “Intern Signing Day” on Feb. 18, during which dozens of students will begin paid internships.
For more information about Key to Career, please visit www.dcsdschools.org/keytocareer.