The pathways program assistant, Tuquita James, receives in-processing documentation at Anniston Army Depot from one of the students Aug. 5.
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The pathways program assistant, Tuquita James, receives in-processing documentation at Anniston Army Depot from one of the students Aug. 5. (Photo Credit: US Army Photo by Mark Cleghorn) VIEW ORIGINAL
During the orientation, Anniston Army Depot commander Col. Eric McCoy congratulates the in-coming class and encourages them to excel.
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ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Eight high school students embarked on new careers Aug. 5 during Anniston Army Depot’s Pathways Program orientation.

Parents, instructors and members of the depot’s leadership were present to witness the students ‘new journey.

The Student Educational Employment Program began two decades ago as a three-phase program commencing with training high school students who then progress to a technical college education and, finally, full-time employment at the depot, if a position is available. The spots are highly competitive and students must apply through www.usajobs.gov.

Over the years, the program’s name changed and it is now called the Pathways Program.

Marilyn Futrell, the program specialist, expressed the importance of having good work ethics. “What you do today, will impact tomorrow,” she said. “As students, you must continue to make good grades while focusing on your education and graduation,” she said. “And when you arrive here on time, your attitude and willingness to continue learning will be crucial to your success.”

Numerous applications are received each year, but the number of slots available for the program annually is based on the depot’s mission requirements.  Students with exceptional academia, discipline and attendance rise to the top.

This year’s class will train in two skill sets – machining and welding.

A decrease in the numbers is attributed to this year’s workload and requirements. The enrollment for 2019-2020 was 40 students while 2016, 2017 and 2018 saw 20 students.

Expectations for the students remain high. The student must maintain a C average in their core classes at school and a minimum of a 2.5 grade point average in their overall academic coursework.

Upon graduation from high school, students in good standing may be offered conversion to the technical college portion of the program, which is conducted through Gadsden State Community College.