Career and Technical Education Highlighted
The local effort to promote technical training opportunities, which the governor referenced in his State of the State address, will culminate during National Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month in February. Several NMU programs will be featured in a special publication inserted in the Feb. 5 Mining Journal. The focus is on how CTE can prepare youth and adults for a wide range of high-demand, high-skill and relatively high-wage occupations. It emphasizes hands-on learning to develop practical skills and creative thinking that can serve as a pathway to college education or an apprenticeship en route to gainful employment. CTE produces a skilled workforce for employers, which yields returns for regional and state economies.
The publication will include salary potential, employment outlook, relevant education and other information unique to each career field highlighted.
“This master list will help students make the best possible career decisions,” said Stu Bradley, chair of the local CTE committee. “We have more than 30 businesses and organizations listed on our sponsor page that see the need to have more men and women trained in technical career areas. Many of our sponsors have job openings today and can’t find qualified applicants. The publication will be a great resource for students to help plan their education and training needs.”
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. They also can earn free college credits and participate in the Marquette-Alger Technical Middle College (see related story). At the college level, NMU students are trained by instructors who keep pace with the latest developments in their fields and can obtain the required credentials for a promising career in one to four years. Another option is local apprenticeship programs. These vary from three to five years, depending on the trade, and provide students with classroom instruction and pay while they learn on the job.
The local CTE awareness effort is a collaboration involving Northern Michigan University, Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Service Agency (MARESA), the Upper Peninsula Construction Council and Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP). The group’s publication will also be distributed to U.P. high schools and made available at NMU’s Jacobetti Complex, MARESA, LSCP and sponsoring businesses.