Career and technical education (CTE) prepares youth and adults for a wide range of high-demand occupations. A committee representing Alger and Marquette counties is promoting the availability and value of all regional technical training opportunities in a special publication being released on Feb. 28 to close out National Career and Technical Education Month. The publication will include salary potential, employment outlook and information unique to each field.
“I am very concerned about high school students not having a realistic career direction when they leave school. I hope this publication will have a positive impact on the students' career choices,” said Stu Bradley, chair of the local CTE committee.
CTE offers multiple benefits. High school students who enroll in courses with real-world relevance tend to be more engaged, perform better academically and graduate at higher rates, according to the National Association of CTE. In addition, high school students can earn free college credits through the Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College, leading to a technical certificate from Northern Michigan University.
At the college level, NMU students are trained by instructors who keep pace with the latest developments in their field, obtaining required credentials for a promising career in one to four years. Local apprenticeship programs are also available. Varying from three to five years for completion depending on the trade, they provide students with classroom instruction and pay while they learn on the job.
CTE benefits employers by producing skilled workers and yielding big returns for regional and state economies. Careers include: business, construction, health science, hospitality, information technology and manufacturing.
The local CTE awareness effort is in collaboration involving Northern Michigan University, Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Agency (MARESA), the Upper Peninsula Construction Council and Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP). The group's publication will be inserted in the Feb. 28 Mining Journal and distributed to 11 high schools in Marquette and Alger counties at the beginning of March. In addition, the publication will also be available at NMU's Jacobetti Complex, MARESA, LSCP and sponsoring businesses.
NMU is scheduled to showcase many of its CTE program areas at the upcoming Career Exploration Open House being held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at the Jacobetti Complex. The open house will allow prospective students to tour the learning labs, meet with faculty and current students as well as discuss programs and career choices.