Anyone who has worked in industry for more than a few years understands the changing work landscape. Technological innovations, increasingly complex skill sets, and the need for flexibility and adaptability to meet changing demands are among the challenges workers today face as they look to advance their own careers. For students just beginning to learn about the work landscape, these challenges will shape how they approach their own futures. Preparing students to participate in a 21st century workforce requires learning beyond the traditional classroom.
The goal of the Mount Washington Valley Career & Technical Center is to help students gain the soft skills, technical knowledge, academic foundation and real-world experience they need to prepare for high-skill, high-demand, high-wage careers. By providing relevant, real-life educational experiences, the Career & Tech Center prepares students to start working immediately or go on to post-secondary programs.
MWV Career and Technical Center currently trains students in 12 programs of study: Automotive Technology; Business and Accounting; Building Trades; Computer Aided Design and Drafting; Computer Programming; Culinary Arts; Health Sciences; Hospitality; Machine Tool Technology; Marketing; Film/Video and Photography; and Teacher Education. Each of these programs is aligned with learning competencies developed by teachers and industry leaders to best prepare students for the future. Some programs provide industry level certifications as well. While skills training has long been the hallmark of vocational programs—the precursors to modern Career and Technical Education (CTE)—today’s CTE programs include rigorous academic preparation as well. This gives students the opportunity to be successful whether they choose to enter the workplace directly or continue their studies at a community college or university.
Community connections are a critical to the success of the MWVCTC. For our programs to remain relevant, our instructors need eyes and ears in the industry. Each of our twelve programs partners with local business and industry representatives to form program advisory committees. These committees provide valuable feedback about current industry standards and trends, help review curriculum, suggest budgetary needs and provide internship and job opportunities for our students. This is a win–win scenario: businesses recruit and train their future employees, while students develop real-world skills at local businesses. Currently over thirty local businesses collaborate with the MWVCTC by participating in these program advisory committees, sponsoring internships, and occasionally being classroom guests.