A Second Career Academy: An Investment in Cobb Students, Community


The Cobb Innovation and Technology Academy (CITA) opened in 2020 with great accolades from the community and enthusiastic support from the State Board of Education. From healthcare and cybersecurity to welding, construction, and similar opportunities, Cobb’s full-service career academy became a reality with the help of funds from Ed-SPLOST IV. 

Located in the southern half of the county on the campus of the remodeled Osborne High School, CITA is the District’s first standalone career academy. The facility will serve as a model for a sister career academy in northern Cobb County, funded by Ed-SPLOST if Ed-SPLOST VI is approved.   

CITA offers 15 different career pathways through three “pillars”: Emerging Technologies, Healthcare and Community Services, and Maker Industries. Students learn both theory in the classroom and “hands-on” with the many simulators, tools, and equipment available inside this modern and sophisticated learning center.   

The Chairman's Brief: Inside CITA with Dr. Tiffany Barney

The success and excitement generated by CITA in the lead-up to its first year of operation in 2020-21 made it evident that another career center would be necessary very soon. Trade careers are readily available and well-paying, and CITA makes Cobb students stand out as being “field-ready” right out of high school.  

Opening a second facility, like CITA, would provide more opportunities for Cobb students. More Cobb students would be able to earn certifications and credits toward their future career—a career that could start earning them a paycheck as soon as they step off the stage at graduation. The second location would mean a shorter commute to and from school for students in the northern part of the county.  

Building another career-focused focused facility would enable the District to expand its trade education and career preparation offerings. Although there would be some overlap between the academies, there would also be opportunities for each of the academies to “specialize” in certain areas or career tracks and concentrate its focus on the students interested specifically in that field.  

Trade occupations have been overshadowed in years past with a focus on college prep. With two career academies running at full capacity, Cobb Schools would not only be preparing students for rewarding and lucrative careers, but it would also be ensuring that knowledgeable and capable employees are filling the local trade jobs on which Cobb County residents depend. It would be an investment in our students’ future and an investment in the future of the Cobb community for decades to come.