Century Bank makes $20K donation for vo-tech tuition

Century Bank of the Ozarks recently presented $20,000 to Ozark County high schools for student tuition to South Central Career Center in West Plains. Lutie, Bakersfield, Dora and Gainesville high schools each received $5,000. Pictured, from left: South Central Career Center director Jim Laughary, Bakersfield superintendent Amy Britt, Lutie principal Sherry Anstine, Century Bank of the Ozarks chief executive officer Chris Harlin, Dora superintendent Allen Woods and Gainesville High School principal Justin Gilmore.

Century Bank of the Ozarks recently donated $20,000 in tuition to South Central Career Center (SCCC) for Ozark County high school students who are interested in attending the career and technical school in West Plains. The county’s four high schools – Lutie, Gainesville, Dora and Bakersfield – will have $5,000 each to help students who aren’t planning to further their education at college but instead want to learn a trade and enter the workforce sooner.

“We feel like there is a need to help these students who are not attending college to learn employable skills,” said Century Bank of the Ozarks chief executive officer Chris Harlin. “Century Bank has been giving out college scholarships for decades, but we know college isn’t for everyone. There’s a huge need for skilled workers in trades that pay well but don’t require a college degree. We’re happy to be able to help Ozark County students achieve their career goals.”

Programs offered at SCCC include automotive collision repair, automotive technology, carpentry, advertising art, culinary arts, surgical technology, and welding, among others. 

“We certainly appreciate Century Bank and their support of SCCC and our sending schools,” said SCCC director Jim Laughary. “Career and technical education is being valued more and more across the nation, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with our sending schools as we focus on our mission of developing a high-quality workforce.”

“Bakersfield appreciates the investment Century Bank has made in our students,” said Bakersfield superintendent Amy Britt. “They give generously to scholarships for students who further their education at colleges, and now, with this gift, we will be able to provide even more vocational opportunities to our students. Learning and mastering a trade is key to that success. There’s a need for skilled trade workers as well as a demand for highly skilled workers in the technology field that does not require an advanced college degree. Networking, coding, creating graphics are all skills that are in high demand. These skills are taught at Bakersfield High School and at SCCC. We are happy to partner with SCCC because what we can’t offer, they can, and what they don’t offer, we do. The partnership allows us to provide a skilled workforce that is ready to meet the demand that’s out there right now. We value vocational education and continually look for ways to further offerings, both on our campus and for our students who attend SCCC.”

Britt added that Bakersfield sends the highest percentage of its high school student population to SCCC of all the 12 sending schools.

Lutie and Dora have been sending students to SCCC for many years. “The district is certainly thankful for the Century Bank donation for our vocational students,” said Lutie superintendent Scot Young. “Our numbers have grown over the last few years as more and more students and parents have realized that these programs have a lasting benefit and put these students on a career path much sooner and match up with the skills many employers are needing. This generous donation is a win-win for Ozark County schools.”

“The school and community of Dora would like to thank Century Bank for the generous donation,” said Dora superintendent Allen Woods. “There is a need for skilled trade workers in our area. At Dora, we want to continue to grow the number of students taking vocational classes. There are so many great career opportunities around the area for students who attend the SCCC. “

Gainesville is renewing its partnership with SCCC in the 2019-20 school year. “Thanks to Century Bank of the Ozarks for their continued support of the Gainesville R-V District,” said Gainesville High School principal Justin Gilmore. “We have 19 students who are receiving an opportunity to learn a trade or skill to become productive adults. We’re very excited about these opportunities for our students.”


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