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Startup aims to provide vocational training

June 15, 2010

Ron Shepherd, above left, and Maurice Jones were on the faculty as CMS in 2003 opened the doors on its long-awaited, long-promised Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology.

Berry Tech was designed to offer both vocational and high-tech training under one roof. It was to fulfill a promise to Charlotte's African-American community that the vocational programs that thrived at Second Ward High School would rise from the rubble of 1960s urban renewal in a new place.

But in short order, according to Shepherd and Jones, CMS steered the school away from vocational training. Youth who did not want to go to college but wanted training for work in the construction and other trades were, they say, abandoned.

Their anger at what happened at Berry is fueling their start-up of a nonprofit vocational training project. In Tuesday's visit to the Forum, they explained their goals and the niche they are trying to fill.

Click the picture above right to visit their website. 



The Forum welcomes all persons to its meetings beginning at 8 a.m. most Tuesdays of the year
at the West Charlotte Recreation Center, 2222 Kendall Drive, Charlotte, NC
down the hill from West Charlotte High School.