Strength in Education

Education is essential to a thriving economy and a rich quality of life. Clay County is fortunate to have a community of leaders who value education at all levels.

Clay County’s ability to retain and recruit talented, educated and a trained workforce relies on access to quality education. Education prepares the workforce of tomorrow, helps existing workers gain new skills, and is a necessary component for an informed and engaged community.

The Chamber continues its community advocacy efforts to raise the standards of excellence for the educational establishments and institutions in Clay County. Additional Chamber-sponsored programs provide opportunities to concentrate on specific education needs and highlights current successes.

The Clay County Chamber Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, will be hosting the 2017 Annual Teacher Appreciation Expo August 7, 2017, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Thrasher-Horne Center. 


The purpose of the Annual Teacher Appreciation Expo is to recognize teachers, provide items for their classrooms, and build stronger relationships with the business community. The expo is open to Clay County teachers and Chamber members that are participating in the event. For more information, please contact the Kellie Collins at (904) 264-2651 Ext. 214 or

Congratulations to the Clay County School District, one of four districts across the state to receive a "Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies (PAS) - Next Generation Learning" grant. This grant proposes to increase and expand the number of academies across the district within the next five years. The district seeks input from parents and the business community as to which career pathways should be included in the master plan. More information about Ford PAS can be found at and at the Career and Technical Education website.

Career Academies offer students an opportunity to choose a high school program of study with a focus on career areas of interest. They provide technical skills and academics that lead to employment and post-secondary education. Because students can focus their time and energy on an area of high interest, their successes are dramatic. Below are some facts about Clay County's Career Academies:

• Students accepted into an Academy outside of their attendance zone will be granted permission to attend the school that hosts the Academy.

• Currently, there are 15 Career Academies available to students.

Admission requirements are: Grades 9-12, Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) requirements vary dependent upon the individual academy, excellent attendance, and discipline record, and you must complete a registration packet. For more information, visit or email Paul Parker or call the Career and Technical Education office at (904) 284-6574.

Clay County is home to one of the three St. Johns River State College campuses. In support of their capstone class mentioned for the business degrees below, the Clay County Chamber of Commerce will assist in providing internship opportunities for students in these programs.

SJR State provides AS Business degrees in the areas of:

1. Accounting

2. Business Administration with several specializations:

a. Administration

b. Banking

c. E-Business

d. Human Resources

e. Insurance

f. International Marketing

g. Marketing

3. Industrial Management

Every business student will take the capstone class in their last semester of the program. This class brings everything together from what the student has learned in the program. It focuses on job training through resume writing, interview skills, and presentation skills. In this program, we highly recommend an internship in the discipline of the degree that the student is working towards to provide real world field experience. The internship must be a minimum of 60 hours and the schedule may be created to assist both the student and employer. We monitor the progress of the student with 3 check points (beginning, middle, and end) with the internship supervisor to help provide feedback to the student. We are looking for businesses that would be willing to add their name to a pool of resources for these type of internships.

For more information, visit

The Clay County Chamber Foundation Scholarship Program was created in 1991 to recognize academically talented Clay County high school seniors and to provide financial assistance for their college-level studies. The Clay County Chamber Foundation Scholarship Committee administers the program.

***Special Offer***

2016 Clay County Chamber Foundation Scholarships – One (1) $2,000 and six (6) $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to graduating high school seniors residing in Clay County and planning to attend college.

Clay County Bar Association - One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a Clay County high school senior planning to pursue a career in law or business.

Click Here to Fill Out the Online Application Now!

**Submissions are due by February 29, 2016**

Contact the Chamber at (904) 264-2651 if you have questions about the Clay County Chamber Foundation Scholarship Program.

Read about the 2015 Foundation Education Awards Luncheon and the scholarship winners here.

Also, see PHOTOS from the ceremony and watch the VIDEO!

The Clay County Chamber Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(C)3 organization. The Clay County Chamber Foundation holds registration CH26029 with the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800) 435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. Federal Tax ID #85-801384673C-1