FAQ’s for AOP
What is the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Business & Industry Showcase?
The Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Business & Industry Showcase is an event designed to let eighth graders interact with the largest employment sector in the tri-county area, manufacturing. The event also has representation from law enforcement, public health and other employment sectors.
Why hold the Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Business & Industry Showcase?
The education system in South Carolina asks an eighth grader to complete an Individual Graduation Plan (IGP). Basically, what do you want to be when you grow up? The IGP dictates course of study throughout high school and focuses a student into one of 16 Career Clusters.
For Oconee County, creating a more skilled workforce helps us recruit the kinds of companies that can provide careers for our residents, both present and future.
A key idea is showing how academics can lead directly to real world experiences. That is a strong message for any student, but specifically for the age group targeted for AOP. About 40 percent of South Carolina ninth graders are on track to never finish high school or lack the skills needed for employment, according to the South Carolina Regional Education Center. Meanwhile about 28 percent will go to a four-year college, but only about 20 percent of jobs in the state require a four-year degree.
That leaves a surplus 65 percent of jobs in the state that require a two-year or technical degree, but only 32 percent of ninth graders are seeking that career route. We need to get students looking at these fields now in order to keep jobs coming to Oconee and South Carolina as a whole.
Oconee County, the School District of Oconee County and the Oconee Economic Alliance greatly support the AOP Showcase. This event helps to steer a group of young people who are students now, but in less than a decade will be positioned to become the backbone of our county’s workforce.
Who is the target audience?
The target audience is 8th Graders from the seven school districts in Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties. The 8th graders are at the event to learn what is required, i.e. education, soft skills, etc., to go to work after high school. Also, 150 of the top performing seniors from the career and technology centers from the tri-county area will be attending. These students are attending to, hopefully, meet their potential employer.
Where is the event?
Clemson University’s Littlejohn Coliseum played host for the first five years of the event, but with the reconstruction of that facility the Showcase had to find a new home. The new host location of the event is the Anderson Civic Center. The address of the civic center is 3027 MLK Jr. Blvd., Anderson, South Carolina, 29625. Below are directions to the civic center coming from I-85 exit 19 (also Hwy 76).
From Interstate 85:
- Take Exit 19-A toward Anderson, and travel on Clemson Blvd. heading toward downtown Anderson.
- Travel approximately 2 miles.
- Turn right onto Civic Center Blvd.
- Travel approximately 1 mile until Civic Center Blvd. ends at the first and only traffic signal.
- Turn right onto MKL Jr. Blvd. (formerly known as Mall Road).
- The Civic Center of Anderson will be seen immediately on the right.
- Travel to the first traffic signal.
- Turn right at the traffic signal onto Camson Road.
- The Civic Center of Anderson main entrance is the first road on the right.
Why should you attend?
You should attend to lend support in helping to demonstrate to our future workforce the potential of the economic base of the tri-county area. Also, it is a great opportunity to interact with companies from the tri-county area in one location.