Kings High School Employability Class

Dustin Goldie strikes an imposing figure at Kings High School.

Complete with a hard hat emblazoned with the school’s iconic “K” logo, Goldie addresses his fifth-bell students by praising and teasing in equal measure, with one eye on the power tools he’s brought in for show-and-tell, or rather teach-and-work, on a cool spring day in May.

When it was becoming apparent that the hands-on classes at the district’s career center were filling up quickly, Kings High School asked Goldie, a history teacher in the district, if he would be interested in teaching an employability class for a cross-section of students interested in learning life skills and soft skills.

Goldie has been teaching the class, which is an elective, to all grade levels at the school for the last five years and has been a teacher at KHS for more than 20 years. The employability class started out with 25 kids and has grown to more than 160.

“We are teaching kids multiple career pathways to be successful. We teach them how to use their hands and how to be successful in life,” he said. “You can be a farmer, you can be an electrician, you can be an engineer with a college degree. We try to match the kid’s strengths to future careers and expose them to different experiences.”

Kings High School Employability Class
Students at Kings High School learn about different careers in a popular employability class at the Warren County school, learning skills such as using power tools for landscaping to keeping eye contact during an interview.

Future veterinarians, welders and construction workers take the class alongside aspiring equine photographers and even one student who intends to be a professional soccer player.

While students in Goldie’s class learn how to change a tire, trim a bush or replace dead wood on an old bench, they also learn life skills such as establishing eye contact during a conversation and good questions to ask during a job interview.

Senior Zhana Burnside, who plans to attend Sinclair Community College for a career in hospitality, said the speakers Goldie has brought to class “give us tips on what to look for and tips on getting a good job and keeping it.”

Sophomore Ava Harris, who plans on a career as a welder, said the class helped her “learn how to be more professional online, inside and outside of a job.”

Learning these different skills is key to the development of a workforce that may or may not choose college as an option after high school. Even if students in Goldie’s class go on to earn a four-year degree, they can augment their income with some of the skills they have learned in their employability class.

“This generation is all about the side-hustle,” Goldie said. “This is a room full of entrepreneurs.”

Goldie himself has a bit of a side-hustle going on. The Hamilton County Farm Bureau member owns Goldie Beef, a freezer beef operation in Clarksville and is a first-generation farmer with his father, Rick, and family.

Kings High School employability classShowcasing agriculture, on and off the farm, is something that is very important to Goldie.

“At Kings, we try to promote STEAM education,” Goldie said. “The ‘A’ in STEAM stands for arts but also agriculture, because agriculture is the heartbeat of Ohio. We’re trying to show the kids that you can get a four-year college degree in agribusiness, or you can go right out of high school and start working for an equine farm (as an example). We’re trying to show students there are all kinds of pathways to success.”

In June, Goldie took a new position as supervisor over the John K. Lazares Alternative School for the Warren County Educational Service Center.

“We will be incorporating many of the workforce development ideas we used at Kings (at the alternative school),” he said. He noted that KHS plans to continue the employability class and expand it to include an internship component.

Agriculture is one of the largest industries and economic contributors in Ohio

Farming accounts for roughly:

  • $700 billion of gross domestic product*.
  • 10% of the state’s economy.
  • 333,000 jobs.
  • 52% of land.

Beyond the direct production of food, fuel and fiber, a huge range of related scientific and support industries contribute to Ohio agriculture. Machinery makers, banks, research labs, insurance agencies, retailers—each plays a role in ensuring Ohio products reach dinner tables, dressing rooms, greenhouses, grocery stores and gas tanks across our counties and the country.

According to the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, projections indicate that in the next 10 years, there will be a need for 470,000 new workers in agribusiness and 90,000 new workers in direct farming operations.


Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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