Who We Are
WHAT IS K-64?
K-64 is a systemic approach to shaping future careers and meeting workforce demands by connecting students and employers throughout the educational curriculum.
K-64 increases student and employer engagement in educational programs proven to prepare a qualified workforce by:
- Collaborating with employers to align courses of study with workforce needs.
- Connecting students to real-world careers and related curriculum choices from early on.
- Empowering adults to enhance employability in a dynamic work environment.
What K-64 Will Accomplish
- Short-Term: Increased student and employer participation in real-world educational pathways designed to meet workforce needs.
- Mid-Range: More local jobs filled in targeted industries as a result of educational alignment.
- Long-Term: A seamless, demand-driven, replicable education system that consistently cultivates a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce ready to fill local jobs and help drive the economy.
History. Mission. Vision.
The K-64 initiative was born out of a 2016 population study of Catawba County that indicated an ongoing gradual decline in the working-age population of Catawba County. In an effort to proactively drive local economic and population growth the Catawba County Board of Commissioners identified education as one of eight critical growth sectors in their strategic plan and commissioned the K-64 Initiative to lead the way. On January 17, 2017, the Catawba County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution to form K-64 and approved its bylaws. The Board also voted to approve seed-funding to help kick-start the initiative.
In March 2017, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed to formalize the K-64 partnership among the initiative’s founding partners: Catawba County, Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, Catawba County Economic Development Corp., Catawba County Schools, Catawba Valley Community College, Hickory Public Schools, and Newton-Conover City Schools. In May 2017, the initiative’s governing board was formed and work on building this innovative initiative began.
Mission and Vision
K-64 is dedicated to fostering collaboration between education, government, and business to develop, attract, and retain a future-ready talent pool to meet growing workforce demands and ensure a bright economic future for Catawba County, NC.
Areas of Work
Accelerating learning inside and outside the classroom by connecting students with access to relevant technologies.
Teaching critical soft skills, such as goal-setting, interpersonal communication and team building, to ensure students are well-prepared to engage in work and in life.
Continually equipping teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to incorporate leading-edge technologies into lesson plans and classroom environments.
Facilitating job shadowing, internships, co-ops, work-study programs and apprenticeships to connect students with real-world careers and local employers.
Cultivating collaborative partnerships with businesses to invest in the development of a well-prepared and highly engaged workforce of tomorrow.
Ensuring access to relevant educational services to help adults develop nimble skill sets and assure career longevity.
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO of K-64, Mark Story is responsible for directing and ensuring the financial sustainability of the K-64 initiative.
Dr. Ryan McCreary
Adjunct Instructor & Student Leadership
Dr. McCreary directs the K-64 Student Leadership and Exploring Programs, and he is the lead instructor for Work-Based Learning – 120.
As Business Liaison of K-64, Jennifer Jones is responsible for connecting businesses to future outcomes and sustainability of the K-64 initiative.
As Business Liaison of K-64, Chris Reese is responsible for connecting businesses to K-14 work-based learning and adult populations within the Catawba Valley Community College’s academy programs.
Our Latest News
In January, K-64, in partnership with Catawba Valley Community College, launched a new work-based learning course focused on critical soft skills development and including a 32-hour internship. The course was approved as a Career and College Promise course allowing...read more
K-64 recently partnered with AnitaB.org and Catawba Valley Community College's Systems Security and Network Management Faculty to host two summer camps for rising 6th-8th graders in Catawba County. The first was Coding Fun and the second Ethical Hacking. Each camp...read more
During the career fair sessions, the students learned about corporate and skilled-trade careers in Catawba County, the education and training requirements for the jobs, and the importance in every industry of soft skills, such as work ethic, communication, and teamwork.read more
Catawba Valley Community College
2550 US Hwy 70 SE
Hickory, NC 28602
Mark Story, CEO
(828) 327-7000, ext. 4730
Jennifer Jones, Business Liaison
(828) 327-7000, ext. 4135
Ryan McCreary, Adjunct Instructor & Student Leadership
Chris Reese, Business Liaison
(828) 327-7000, ext. 4635