Robert D. Stethem Educational Center Career and Technology Education (CTE) students took a step further into the “real world” May 15 when they capped off two years of skills training with a recognition ceremony.
The 57 students come to Stethem from the county’s seven high schools to attend courses in the programs of automotive technician, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), interactive media production, pharmacy technician and physical rehabilitation.
The American economy and the country’s status as a world leader are linked to its current and future workforce, Lynne Arnold, principal of Stethem, said. Employers look for skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication and teamwork — the skills students learn at Stethem.
Cody Akers, a La Plata High School senior who studied HVAC at Stethem, said what he learned at the center from instructor John Young, a master HVAC technician, will serve him well as he starts at job with metropolitan-based HVAC company. “I got the education here that I will take there,” he said.
While Akers is heading into the workforce, MarShawn Jackson, a Thomas Stone High School senior, is taking what she learned in the pharmacy technician program and applying it to her studies at West Virginia Wesleyan College where she plans to major in nursing. Jackson, who earned a $139,780 in scholarship money to the Buckhannon, W.Va., school, is also enrolled in Stone’s Project Lead the Way biomed program. “I wanted to get my foot into the medical field and learn different things,” she said.
According to Traci Chappelear-Thomas, coordinator of CTE programs for Charles County Public Schools, 1 million skilled construction trade professionals will be in demand by 2020 with 3.5 million manufacturing jobs open in 2025. By 2030, there will be 290,000 new jobs in the solar industry. “These numbers are very telling of the value of CTE,” she said. “These indicators dictate how all of the hard work Stethem students have completed in the past two years will contribute to meeting the future workforce needs, as well as closing the skills gap.”
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.