Career & Technical Education Advisory Committee Makes Impact

CTE Advisory Committee Meeting (courtesy of Marshfield School District)

Latest Tiger TV Episode Showcases CTE Advisory Committee

Students at Marshfield High School can get a head start on their career through the district’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, which aim to provide students with a foundation for a wide range of careers that reflect the contemporary workplace.

An advisory committee that formed last year has helped to further develop the program’s impact on students, businesses, and the local economy.

“We have a gem in Marshfield with our Career and Technical Education department,” said Jennifer Fredrick, Career & Technical Education Coordinator at Marshfield High School in a recent interview on Tiger Tv.

Preparing students for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand careers, the CTE program also helps local businesses by addressing the needs of high-growth industries and helping to close the skills gap.

Partnerships with local employers allow students to receive hands-on experience and training in their desired career field, providing them an opportunity to learn lifelong skills. Additionally, the presence of some of these employers on the advisory committee has made a significant impact on the program’s development.

“As I look back over these last 3,4,5 years, now the district has started to cater to not only what my needs are, but the same with the other businesses,” said Derrick Backaus, Vice President and General Manager at Stainless & Repair and a member of the CTE Advisory Committee. “I have watched a program that I believe has continued to get better and better and better.”

Backaus works with staff at Marshfield High School to help develop a curriculum that prepares students for a job in the “real world”. Backaus also goes into classrooms to help encourage students in the program- students who sometimes eventually end up becoming his employees.  

“We’re able to sit down and have an influence,” he said. “I like that part of what this committee has led into.”

Marshfield’s CTE program also stresses the importance of soft skills and communication, regardless of whatever industry the student chooses for a career.

“You can give me the best guy or gal that can work, that can do it the best, but if they can’t communicate, they can’t get in the door, they can’t even get hired,” said Backaus, who stresses the importance of communication to students whenever he speaks in classrooms.

Because the CTE programs emphasize employability skills, core academic skills, and technical, job-specific skills, students are better equipped for college and careers.

Studies conducted by the Association For Career & Technical Education reveal that high school students involved in CTE are more engaged, perform better, and graduate at higher rates.

AFCTE also reports that middle-skill jobs ( jobs that require education and training beyond high school but less than a bachelor’s degree) are a significant part of the economy. Of the 55 million job openings created by 2020, 30 percent will require some college or a two-year associate degree.

Marshfield’s CTE Program continues to develop and meet the needs of both students and employers. For more information, check out the latest episode of Tiger Tv.

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