Career Development Program Encourages Students Entering Construction Field

Career Development Program Encourages Students Entering Construction Field

One Indiana high school prepping young students for construction and manufacturing jobs and giving graduating students a photo-worthy send off when they complete their courses and enter into their job field.

Young students at J.E. Ober Elementary School and Garrett Middle School are engaged in classes designed to spark interest in construction and manufacturing. In high school, students may enroll in the career development program launched this academic year.

“Students that successfully complete the program will not only have the academic knowledge needed to be successful, but the soft skills and trade-specific expertise and experience they need to become gainfully employed with economic freedom,” the high school said in a news release promoting the program last year.

The fifth-grade exploration class, dubbed the “construction class” by the students, offers an opportunity for the elementary class to build projects that they are able to take home. The Career Development Program will touch over 600 students from 5th thru 12th in a corporation that has 1700 total students.

Beyond the expansion of covering multiple grades is the program’s commitment to academic integration. Many programs offer either one or the other — career and technical curriculum or academic curriculum.

“My vision was to start a youth program that led into our career development program,” said Chad Sutton, director of career development at the high school. “Giving students opportunities to explore skills and abilities they did not know they had, also to build upon skill sets they already had.”

When students have completed their curriculum and successfully found employment at a construction or manufacturing company they get to participate in a “signing day.”

Just like an athlete who is signing with a college team, seniors get to be recognized by their peers, teachers, family members and local business owners for their hard work and securing a promising job out of high school.

“There are lots of opportunities out there for our students to create economic freedom for themselves and their community,” Sutton said. “It is our job as adults to show them these learning opportunities — to create environments where they can be passionate about learning and developing, while still being creative.”

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