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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Floyd Adams, August 16, 2002. Interview R-0168. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Vocational education benefits black community

Adams describes his devotion to vocational education as a way to maintain the strength the black community. He is hopeful for a Georgia Tech campus being built at the time of the interview.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Floyd Adams, August 16, 2002. Interview R-0168. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

KIERAN TAYLOR One of the keys to all of this is Savannah's ability to continue to generate income, either through tourism or through shipping and manufacturing and particularly I think when you're looking at the black community, manufacturing jobs become real important. FLOYD ADAMS, JR. One of the things that I've always advocated was more vocational education. When you have a school system that is seventy-three percent African American, we need to start training people when they leave high school that they have some kind of career be it a plumber or electrician or whatever that they have some exposure. To be able to attract the industry we need here, we need a good qualified workforce and thus far we don't have that in Savannah. That will be the major thrustߞit's been my thrust for the last six or seven years to really push the school system to get off of ground zero to go and start shifting from a college preparatory to some vocational training. I think if they would do that they would cut back on their drop out rate because people can do something with their hands. They get occupied in that type of situation. Plus it would save us money in the long run because those dropouts cost us money to reeducate and retrain and keep those people out of prison and everything else. So if I could just get the board of education to focus on that, we'd be ready to deal with it. But the new thrust for Savannah is the high tech, although high tech stocks are catching hell on the internet right now but stock market, but our thrust is to shift from manufacturing jobs to blue collar, white collar high tech jobs. We just recently broke ground with Georgia Tech to put a component of Georgia Tech here. They're building a new campus for it. But we have a program already in place in Georgia where students from Savannah State, Armstrong can now do two years at Armstrong, Savannah State or Georgia Southern and then switch over to the Georgia Tech program and get a degree from Georgia Tech. They do teleconferencing classes, teleconference classes and the instructors come here. They have about 400 students already enrolled.