February is Career and Technical Education Month, a national campaign to increase awareness and celebrate the value of programs that prepare students for the world of work. This is the sixth in a series of stories focusing on CTE in West Michigan.

Why Career & Technical Education (CTE)?

A CTE student in Montcalm County builds a bird house with a child.

CTE gives students a solid, academic foundation while also providing hands-on technical skills and experience. With today’s demand for skilled trades workers and relatively low unemployment rate, it is vital that we prepare students for jobs that meet employers’ workforce demands and keep our economy running.

CTE isn’t just a job training program. Studies show that individuals with some college or a college degree have a higher earning potential than those who don’t,[1] and eight out of 10 CTE students plan to attend college[2].  CTE doesn’t just prepare students for a career; it puts them on a pathway to higher education and a better life!

Did you know that CTE opportunities abound in the seven-county region that West Michigan Works! serves, including Ionia and Montcalm Counties? Check out some of these programs below.

Ionia County

The Heartlands Institute of Technology provides CTE programming for the students of Ionia County. Their program prepares students for college and career by giving them core academic skills, employability skills and job-specific, technical skills.

Heartlands offers programs in Aviation Technology, Computer Programming, Construction Technology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Diesel Technology, Healthcare Foundations, health Occupations, Machine Tool and Plant/Animal Science.

Learn more about CTE in Ionia County!

Montcalm County

The Montcalm Area Career Center (MACC) offers CTE programs for junior and senior high school students in the seven school districts within Montcalm County. MACC has partnered with community colleges and universities to provide college credits to build a foundation for higher education in addition to technical training.

Students have the opportunity to enroll in one of 10 CTE programs that include Agriscience, Automotive Technology, Computer-Aided Drafting & Design, Construction Trades, Diesel & Equipment Technology, Engineering, Health Sciences, Public Safety, Teacher Academy and Welding.

Learn more about CTE at MACC!

[1] High School Graduates Who Work Full Time Had a Median Weekly Earnings of $718 in Second Quarter, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, July 2017
[2] The Value and Promise of Career Technical Education: Results from a National Survey of Parents and Students, Advance CTE and the Siemens Foundation, April 2017