Workforce & Education

Surry County provides a ready workforce.

K-12 Education

Educational opportunities abound in Surry County beginning in pre-kindergarten and continuing throughout adulthood.  Surry County has three school systems and one charter academy.

Higher Education

Dozens of top-ranked universities, colleges and community colleges are close buy. 

Workforce Training

Surry Community College supports economic development efforts by providing customized training for companies creating jobs in Surry County.

K-12 Education in Surry County

Surry County Schools
Educational opportunities abound in Surry County beginning in pre-kindergarten and continuing throughout adulthood. Surry County has three school systems – Surry County Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Elkin City Schools, and two charter academies.   Surry County Schools There are 19 schools in the Surry County system including three traditional high schools and an Early College. A detailed report on each school can be found at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website. College credit opportunities are also available at Surry County Schools’ traditional high schools through Career and College Promise and the Surry County Schools’ Virtual Academy. Surry Early College High School of Design was established in 2006 on the campus of Surry Community College. The program is a collaborative effort among the three school systems in Surry County and Surry Community College. The mission of the re-designed high school is to provide opportunities for students from a diverse background to achieve a college education. Each year approximately 80 ninth graders are admitted. Students are able to earn a high school diploma and an associate’s degree or two years of college transfer credit in five years. Students in the 3 traditional high schools of the Surry County School system earned 3,109 tuition-free college credits in the 2015-2016 school year and are on track to earn more than 12,000 tuition-free college credits in the 2016-2017 school year. The Surry County School system ranked 15th our of 115 school systems in the state in overall academic performance. The graduation rate for Surry County Schools for 2015-2016 was 90.1%. Surry County Schools has access to Chromebooks for every student in grades 6-12 with mobile carts and Smart Technology available in every school. There is a 1:1.3 computer to student ratio within the entire district.
Elkin City Schools
Elkin High School was awarded the Silver Medal and recognized as one of the top performing high schools nationwide. Elkin High School was also #2 in the state for having the highest graduation rate. A detailed NC School Report Card on each school in the Elkin School system can be found on the link below or on the website of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Visit Elkin City Schools.
Mount Airy City Schools
Mount Airy City Schools is a small school district with big benefits. The district is comprised of four schools. Students begin their educational career at BH Tharrington Primary School, then move to JJ Jones Intermediate School, Mount Airy Middle School, and finally to Mount Airy High School where they graduate. Being a small school district allows students to thrive in a learning environment where students feel a connectedness thanks to the types of relationships they are able to form with staff, administrators, and the Mount Airy community. Mount Airy City Schools offers multiple opportunities for students to discover their interests and grow their talents. Beginning at Tharrington Primary School, students are introduced to the district-wide STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) framework. This framework supports the district’s vision that all students will think critically, innovatively solve problems, and be responsible citizens and confident leaders with a passion for learning. Tharrington is a Leader In Me school that boasts a global focus for all classrooms. Tharrington is also where students interested in dual language immersion would begin learning in Spanish. Jones Intermediate School is also a Leader In Me school where students take ownership of their learning. All students attend STEAM and Spanish classes once a week and interested fifth grade students have the opportunity to begin band. Students also enjoy the beginning of school clubs and greater opportunities to serve. Mount Airy Middle School is a nationally recognized school that earned its Schools to Watch designation in 2014 and was redesignated in 2017. Sixth through eighth grade students have 14 sports to choose from and over 15 academic clubs, many of which compete at the state and national level. For the past two years, Mount Airy City Schools has won the Small District Cup due to the successful academic competitions by students at Mount Airy Middle School and Mount Airy High School. The only Interact club in the region is also found at Mount Airy Middle School. In 2011, Mount Airy High School earned the title of National Blue Ribbon School due to its high levels of achievement with all students. While Mount Airy High School is a 1A high school, it is not limiting in the number of extra curricular opportunities or learning experiences offered to students. There are 22 athletic teams and over 16 service organizations, school clubs, and academic clubs where students can excel. Students also enjoy STEAM infused classes as well as foreign languages such as Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. Since 2014, Mount Airy City Schools and Mount Airy High School have sent administrators, staff members, and board members to China. Mount Airy High School has also welcomed administrators and students from China to visit and live with high school students. Students hold internships in many STEAM fields such as NASCAR with Richard Childress Racing and the medical field with local doctors and Northern Hospital of Surry County. Mount Airy High School students benefit from the partnership with Surry Community College where hundreds of college credits are earned by students each year while attending high school. Visit to learn more about Mount Airy City Schools. You can also stay up-to-date by liking the district on Facebook and following them on Twitter
Millennium Charter Academy
Millennium Charter Academy is a tuition-free, independent, public school serving grades kindergarten through twelve.   Founded in 2000, MCA is a classical, liberal arts school. In addition to strong, honors level academics, the school’s vision is to develop virtuous, intelligent citizens who lead in a constitutional republic and who seek truth, goodness, and beauty.  The school partners with families to educate students in the trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, graduating thoughtful, articulate young adults who are prepared, not only for college, but for life.

As a charter school, MCA is a public school of choice, freed from many governmental regulations, but accountable for results. The school is open to all who wish to attend. Since tax dollars pay for the education, no tuition is charged. The school answers to its governing body, the Board of Directors of Millennium Education Foundation, its parent body, and to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, as well as to certain federal departments. Originally serving students in grades kindergarten through four, the school has grown steadily with its first twelfth grade class graduating in 2018.  The school has almost nine hundred students and employs around one hundred ten people. MCA is well-noted in the community for its family-like environment, strong curriculum, and especially for its attention to teaching the whole child and not just focusing on test results.  Students in all grades experience a curriculum of rich literature, problem-solving oriented mathematics, art, music, history, geography, science, and technology.

The MCA Lower School, comprised of grades kindergarten through five, offers the Core Knowledge Language Arts curriculum, which is a comprehensive program for teaching skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.  This program also builds a strong knowledge base and vocabulary in literature, history, geography, and science. Math is taught from the Everyday Math curriculum, which focuses on building strong real-world problem solving skills.  In addition to core classes, lower school students receive instrumental music, vocal music, art, technology, and physical education training.  In addition to all core classes being taught at an honors level, the MCA Upper, grades six through twelve, offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities to students.  The school has sixth through eighth grades and high school teams for soccer, cross country, volleyball, basketball, cheer leading, indoor track, fencing, track, tennis, golf, softball, and baseball. Students may participate in various clubs and competitions including Interact, Mock Trial, Debate, Quiz Bowl, Patriot’s Pen, NC Science and Engineering Fair, and the NC Student Academy of Science Research Paper Competition, among others.  The student life experience is rich and fun, and offers many opportunities for service to the community and school, as well as fun after-hours events.  High school students have the opportunity to partner with Surry Community College, the NC School of Science and Math, or to take Advanced Placement classes onsite at MCA to obtain early college credit.  The high school also assists students with various internships, the production of a senior capstone project, and international travel.   Of its very first graduating class, 92% of the graduating class is continuing to college, and one student is going into a missions program.

To learn more, please visit the school’s website at, or to stay up-to-date with all the latest events and happenings, visit

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Higher Education

Surry Community College

Surry Community College is an invaluable resource for economic development in Surry County. Having a well-trained workforce is critical to attracting and retaining high quality companies. Surry Community College offers many options for students to obtain the skills and education needed for today’s jobs. Through its Industrial Training Center, Surry Community College offers customized training for business and industry. Check out the college brochure to learn about the programs available. The main campus of Surry Community College is located at 630 S. Main Street in Dobson, NC The college also offers classes at the Yadkin Center in Yadkinville, NC and the Workforce Development Center in Mount Airy, NC. In addition to the traditional classes offered at Surry Community College, distance education classes are available in several formats. Students may enroll in internet classes, hybrid courses, which combine face-to-face instruction with an internet component, and interactive video conferencing courses through the NC Information Highway. Surry Community College supports lifelong learning. Link to Performance Measures and Standards 2017-2018 Report for Surry Community College.

Area Colleges and Universities
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Workforce Training

Customized Training at Surry Community College
Surry Community College supports economic development efforts by providing customized training for companies creating jobs in Surry County.  A well-trained workforce is essential for recruiting and retaining businesses in our county.  The college offers customized training for new and expanding businesses either on-site at the company’s location or at well-equipped facilities at Surry Community College or the Workforce Development Center.  For additional information about how your business can benefit from a customized training program, please contact: Sam Brim (336) 386-3684

Surry Community College Customized Training Program

The Customized Training Program consists of training avenues for job growth, productivity enhancement and continuous improvement. Additionally, opportunities are available for extra funding through Technology Investment.

NC Community College Customized Training Program

The NCWorks Customized Training Program provides education, training and support services for new, expanding and existing business and industry in North Carolina through our network of 58 community colleges, serving all 100 counties of the state. Our goal is to foster and support three key aspects of your company’s well-being: Job Growth, Technology Investment, Productivity Enhancement

Contact Us

Surry County Economic Development Partnership Inc.

190 Virginia Street,  Mt. Airy NC 27030

PO BOX 7128


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