Alpena High School Program Meets Employment Needs | News, Sports, Jobs

News photo by Julie Riddle On Tuesday, a student explains a robot arm to visitors to the Career and Technical Center at Alpena High School.

ALPENA — As students eagerly offered tours of rooms barely resembling classrooms, local employers lined the halls of the Alpena High School Vocational and Technical Education Center on Tuesday, hoping to attract students. attention of students who they hope will soon be filling out job applications.

An open house at the center simultaneously introduced the program to prospective students from Alpena and surrounding counties and provided insight into employers’ desperate need for skilled workers.

The district’s vocational and technical training program will help fill that need, said Lee Fitzpatrick, APS communications director.

“When you know these things,” he said of the skills taught in the CTE program, “you go right into an industry and you’re employable.”

Stationed in their learning zones, the CTE students waited eagerly for Tuesday to talk about their hands-on learning process.

News photo by Julie Riddle Freshman Elsa Schultz presents an animation she created in the Business Technology Lab at Alpena High School’s Vocational and Technical Education Center on Tuesday.

Moving away from the traditional student-in-office system, CTE courses provide students with hands-on experience in the skills they will use when entering a career after high school or college.

In a commercial technology computer lab, freshman Elsa Schultz displayed stop-motion animation she created using high-end computer software.

“I have to call Disney for her,” said instructor Amanda Pilarski, enthused by the future animator’s talent and the computer lab’s ability to prepare students for high-end jobs, including knowledge of computer systems not used in most standard classrooms.

Across the hall, in a room outfitted with mannequins in hospital beds, future nurses and doctors talked about the medical training that will qualify them to enter the workforce directly upon graduation. .

Senior Madysen Gohl hopes to transition from her CTE training in medical school and one day use her skills taught by Alpena as a pediatrician.

News Photo by Julie Riddle Sophomore Jakob Hirsch, right, cuts wood on a table saw at the Alpena High School Vocational and Technical Center on Tuesday.

Students in standard grades often question the applicability of math and science lessons, she said.

“They’re like, ‘Why am I learning this? How am I going to apply this?'” Gohl said. what they want to do.”

A group of students just back from a trip to New York eagerly wait to talk about the business they started, while other students hover nearby to talk about the school store they started. lead.

Rabbits wiggled their noses out of the cages in another classroom, where students learn about animal husbandry, aquatic culture and the greenhouse, learning skills they could use to equip local farms with new technology.

Behind colorful plastic curtains in a welding shop, students wearing face shields sent sparks flying, while others in a nearby garage talked knowingly about the cars they know how to fix.

News photo by Julie Riddle Tuesday, a student chopping wood at Alpena High School Vocational and Technical Center.

The grant money has helped the school provide CTE students with high-quality equipment, like specialty tools in a carpentry lab and a robotic arm and 3D printer in a mechatronics lab, Fitzpatrick said.

Most of that money comes with a caveat that the school is using it to funnel students into careers the state knows need skilled workers the most, he said. declared.

Topics that confuse students in a standard classroom become clear when hands-on work allows them to apply those concepts to real life, such as the geometry used in building a roof, he said.

Sophomore Jakob Hirsch, confidently bent over a table saw, said the CTE program helps students overcome fear they may encounter in a traditional classroom.

The skills he learned in the carpentry shop — and the method the school used to give him those skills — will help him in a future career as a carpenter or firefighter, he said.

News Photo by Julie Riddle Students chat in the welding shop at Alpena Secondary School’s Vocational and Technical Center on Tuesday.

“Yeah, yeah,” Hirsch said. “It’s the best way to learn.”

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693 or Follow her on Twitter @jriddleX.

News Photo by Julie Riddle A student practices welding at the Alpena High School Vocational and Technical Center on Tuesday.

News Photo by Julie Riddle Junior Savannah Miller, a student in Alpena High School’s Career and Technical Education Program, holds Mr. Pineapple during an open house at the CTE Center on Tuesday.

News photo by Julie Riddle Alpena High School Madysen Gohl, right, practices feeding a patient with help from senior Madison Erickson at the school’s Career and Technical Center on Tuesday.

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