Mason Harrison, a Golden Isles College and Career Academy student, is participating in an internship this year at King & Prince Seafood.

Provided photo

An investment in local schools is an investment in the future.

At King & Prince Seafood, support of education in Glynn County provides the company with a way to play a role in shaping the community’s rising work force.

“They are our future,” said Tom Norton, vice president for human resources for King & Prince Seafood. “We depend on the local schools to produce good, employable young people.”

King & Prince Seafood actively supports local education in numerous ways. The seafood company is a partner with the Golden Isles College and Career Academy and offers an internship to GICCA students. It brings Glynn County students in for tours of the plant on a regular basis and often sends representatives out into schools to educate students about the work the company does.

Most recently, King & Prince Seafood hosted a summer externship for a school counselor and participated in the school system’s first Manufacturing Day on Sept. 5, which was part of an ongoing initiative to promote local jobs in manufacturing.

“We saw the opportunity that the school district also saw, that the counselors did not have enough awareness around manufacturing and how they can relate that to their students,” Norton said. “So it was a perfect fit for us to help them see the great careers we have.”

Every afternoon, a high school intern spends the second half of his school day working at King & Prince Seafood, through which he’s gaining experience in nearly every facet of the company.

“Within operations, he does a variety of things,” said Kristy Bennett, training and employee relations manager at King & Prince Seafood. “From the very beginning, he sees how we receive our trucks and raw material in. He works on one of the lines and actually with our maintenance department, repairing and evaluating the processes of the line.”

The company brings in high school interns in hopes of potentially hiring them full-time.

“We hope that the students are going to be our future employees,” Norton said. “The goal would be to have them one day begin their career here at King & Prince.”

He said the company is especially interested in promoting soft skills education for local students, as that ties directly into the success of the employees it hopes to someday hire.

“To be successful here, and anywhere else, you have to have more than technical skills,” he said. “… You do have to have basic work ethic and the ability to work with others and show up, all those kinds of things. The basics are all the same for everybody, and we do find sometimes that that’s lacking a little bit.”

And he said the company relies on local talent for many of its job positions.

“We try really hard to hire locally, whether it’s in production, or quality, or accounting or any field,” Norton said.

Partnering with Glynn County Schools to help educate the future work force benefits both the students and the company. The school system works hard to give the students a quality education that will prepare them for the working world, Norton said.

“It’s very gratifying to see (the school system’s) effort because we can’t do it by ourselves,” he said. “We’re willing to help and participate, but to have that kind of push and initiative, they deserve a lot of credit, because it’s hard.”