The Aiken County Public School District is thrilled to welcome North Augusta native LaFayette A. Stewart, Jr., as the District’s lead coordinator for Aiken Works. Aiken Works is a community workforce development collaborative and community-wide informational and educational campaign led by Aiken County Public Schools.
Aiken Works aims to energize the business community to build their future workforce through Aiken’s students.
“What attracted me to the Aiken Works collaborative is the way we are teaming up with local businesses to prepare students for the workforce through authentic, hands-on experiences,” Stewart stated. “The initiative will allow Aiken County students to develop employable skill sets while also building a highly capable future workforce for our community.”
Stewart’s focus as lead coordinator for Aiken Works will be to increase opportunities for work-based learning throughout Aiken County, and build understanding for fields that will be in highest demand in our area (energy, cyber technology, healthcare, and manufacturing). He will also work to support the Aiken Works goal of broadening the definition of success after high school, to include a sustainable career with growth potential, acceptance to a two-year technical school and acceptance to the military (alongside the traditional definition of going to a four-year college).
Stewart’s move to Aiken County is also a homecoming, as he is a proud former student and student-athlete of Aiken County Public Schools, having attended Clearwater Elementary, Paul Knox Middle, and North Augusta High. He has a strong passion for College & Career readiness, worked-based learning, and athletics.
“It is great to serve the school district and community that served me,” Stewart commented. “I feel a personal obligation to give the students and parents in this school district the very best because they deserve the best.”
He is a graduate of Carson-Newman University where he received a football scholarship and was part of several South Atlantic Conference championships from 2002 to 2007. Stewart earned a degree in Business Administration/Management in December of 2007. He also holds a certification as a Global Career Development Facilitator. He is a proud member of the Psi Omega Chapter (Augusta, Georgia) of Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Inc.
Stewart began his professional career as a Career Specialist/Athletic Administrator/Coach with the Greenville County School District in Greenville, South Carolina, from 2008-2013. During that time, he won numerous regional, state, and national awards while leading the Jobs for America’s Graduates program.
In January of 2013, he began work for the athletic department at the University of South Carolina at Columbia, where he served as a Strength and Conditioning Assistant, Compliance Assistant, and Academic Mentor during his time there that concluded in July of 2015.
Before coming to Aiken County, he served as Georgia Graduates Career Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Labor in Augusta, Georgia, working in Richmond County Schools.
“This school district and community was an integral part in helping me become college and career ready, and provided me with all the tools to be successful,” Stewart added. “I will serve students in this district the same way, through our focus on ‘learning while earning’ with Aiken Works.”