HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Schools kicked off its first-ever career readiness showcase.

The showcase was a collaborative effort with Partnership Grand Strand to showcase programs and certifications the school district offers to prep students for our local workforce.

Thursday’s kick-off event took place at the Academy for Technology and Academics in Conway.

Throughout the 5-month program, more than 20 businesses and industry leaders will visit career and technical education programs offered at each of the district’s high schools.

Career technology education’s coordinator said it was important to them to have at least one representative from all 16 of South Carolina’s career clusters visit the schools and see the courses that are a direct pipeline for students to enter those fields.

It also helps students see what options are available after graduation, identify business opportunities and get an idea of where students can intern or job shadow.

“It’s easy to say ‘I would like to be a nurse when I graduate high school,’ and go off to college, but until you actually get the real world, firsthand experience of what that’s actually like, sometimes it may change their mind,” Elisha Caudill said.

Each high school in the district offers CTE programs and will host professionals until early 2024.