MACON, Ga. — The Bibb County School District is helping students get a head-start in what could be their future career field.
Creativity has been Zari Cole's strong suit since she was a little girl.
Cole has been able to showcase her passion for art through the graphic design pathway at Hutchings College and Career Academy.
"Hutchings gives me real world experience, and I've actually done a lot with getting hands-on work done working with other companies." Cole said.
Cole says she's had the opportunity to work with Ricoh, Skills USA, and WISH Printing.
"It's one of the fastest-growing printing presses due to how cheap it is and easy it is to use. This is getting me ready for the workforce because I know if I would've stayed at my home school, I may not have had the chance to get indulged into the world of graphic design," Cole said.
She says through this pathway, she now has an even clearer idea of what she wants to do in the future.
"I hope to go to college and continue to work in design and be able to work for companies and create their billboards, posters," she said.
Cole is doing real world work in exchange for class credit.
Hutchings' Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education program also offers other pathways such as culinary arts, cosmetology, cybersecurity, welding, and more.
Cassandra Washington, CEO and executive director, says these career fields are in need of students.
"As we think about the career fields, and we think about the baby boomers actually ending, retiring, going home. You have to think about how to rebuild that pipeline. Hutchings allows us to start exposing students to high demand careers," Washington said.
"A lot of the workforce nowadays is getting smaller and smaller. It gives the youth a chance to come in and put a spin on things, with the way our generation sees things," Cole said.
Washington says this also gives students the chance to figure out what they they're interests are.
Washington says that the graphic design program at Hutchings is expanding.
They will soon get upgraded equipment, a more advanced curriculum, and more training for the graphic design instructors.