Education Matters is a partnership between Business, Government, and Education working together to increase the value of education and educational attainment in Catawba County.

Business, local government, and education systems believe in the strength of an educated workforce. Studies consistently demonstrate that individuals who are better educated are more prepared to withstand economic downturns, increase their earnings potential over their lifetimes, and are more productive in the workplace.

Through the commitment of each partner students in Catawba County Schools, Hickory Public Schools, and Newton Conover City Schools will be able to plan for their future through an awareness of career opportunities in Catawba County and the knowledge of educational expectations and training needed to successfully gain employment.

Education Matters Partnership Commitment

Business Commitment

Businesses of all types can participate in this program. The concept of this program applies to all businesses, from large to small companies, to manufacturing, medical, service based, government and nonprofit agencies, franchises, banking, construction, etc. The more varied the business participation the better the opportunity to engage and teach our students about the training and educational needs for specific careers in Catawba County.

As a part of their commitment businesses will require or set a preference that employees,  ages 25 and younger, hired as of 2012 to have a minimum of a high school diploma ( or equivalent: GED, Adult High HS diploma, etc.), they will promote “Leave for Parental Involvement in Schools” to their employees, and encourage their employees to get involved in schools and participate in opportunities that will connect students to the real world of business.

Educational Commitment

The public schools in Catawba County have each identified a pilot group of 100 students or more in their sophomore year to participate in the Education Matters program. These students will be creating a portfolio which will include a NC Career Readiness Certificate, from a nationally recognized test call WorkKeys, plus other pieces which can be used to market themselves such as attendance records, awards or certificates, letter of recommendations, etc. The students will also receive employability trainingwhich includes learning how to apply for jobs, interviewing techniques, appropriate dress, etc.

Catawba Valley College will give a “Graduate Guarantee” to any business who hires a CVCC graduate in 2012. If the employer feels that the guarantee needs further training, CVCC will retrain the student at no cost to the student or business

Government Commitment

Catawba County Government and municipalities will continue to providefinancial support to the public schools systems and CVCC and as a part of economic incentive packages new businesses will be required to participate in Education Matters. In addition Catawba County will require adoptive or foster parents to have their high school diplomas or GED, and will encourage Work First clients to obtain their high school diplomas or GED.

Education Matters Extreme STEM Videos

Want to become an Education Matters Partner?

For more information, visit our website, or contact Tracy Hall, Executive Director at 828-327-7000, 4851 or