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COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools' Career Center will host its second annual Vision Day on Friday. The event gives teachers the opportunity to meet with an advisory board of industry professionals in their respective subject.

Organizers said the goal here is to help teachers make sure they are preparing their students the best they can. 

"It's hard for us to get out there and see what employers are wanting," Chef instructor Katie Frink said. "We are supposed to be preparing these students for future careers so it's important for us to network with people from our industry so that we know what they need and that we're doing our job by preparing our students for the future." 

Each advisory board consists of active professionals offering everything from equipment advice, to updates on current trends in the industry, all the way to tangible donations allowing students more access to resources within the field.

Instructor Jared Monroe teaches the automotive technology class at the career center. The center features a lifelike simulation of an automotive shop. Organizers hope the realism of this exercise allows students to get a hands-on experience working with cars.

Monroe said, in order to best prepare his students, they must have the necessarily resources. 

And it helps if those resources are current.

"Just recently, Veterans United donated a 2014 Ford Focus," Monroe said. "And a couple months before that Ford had donated 2012 Ford Focus. It's nice to get those vehicles in here and new technology for students to work with."

Another instructor, Patrick Sasser, who is also a CPS alumni, teaches digital media and computer sciences. He said, because he teaches in an ever-evolving industry, Vision Day is incredibly important for him to continue to network and learn about the most recent trends.
"I've been a classroom teacher now for 12 years so I haven't really been involved in the industry for a long time," Sasser said. "I don't really know what's happening in these spaces on a daily basis, so to find those things out, I think is something that I'm really looking for."

Director of Career, Technical and Adult Education Brandon Russell said the purpose behind creating Vision Day is to give clarity to the center's mission which is to "prepare today's learners for tomorrow's careers."

The training starts at 8:30 a.m.