IDAHO FALLS, Idaho Falls (KIFI)- The ribbon is cut and the new Career Technical Education Center (CTEC) is open for operation. The center has programs designed to help students learn the skills for certain careers in the Medical field, Emergency response, Law Enforcement, or Fire Fighting. There are also classes in agriculture, culinary arts, cyber security and welding.
Students at the center talked to us about having a place to follow their career paths. "I just was super excited for this opportunity. And it's like two whole class hours and like you get like recognized and like you get a certificate and I just think that's really exciting," said Ava Swatsenbarg a student in the culinary program.
Swatsenbarg says she joined the culinary program in the fall because of some of her future goals, as she wants to be a bake shop owner. She says part of the program, is more than just cooking food in a class room setting. "It's like a good medium. I was expecting, like. Like cooking every day. But I like the we're also learning about, like, food and etiquette and like the correct way to cook because it's very different from home versus like, like making massive amounts of cookies and food. And so it's been it's been good. It's the perfect amount of work, I would say."
A student in the EMT course in the CTEC Abigail Couch says the center helps her solidify what she wants to do after high school. "I really enjoyed that idea of helping people and I thought that it would be a great skill to have, even if it's not something I end up doing in the future. It'd be a great skill and opportunity for me to learn and to just kind of get that under my feet so that if I'm ever put in a situation or if I find myself in that career, I can help people."
Couch also says the program has thrown the students right into the hands one work to help understand the concepts they learn. "We're working on health occupations right now, so we haven't got quite to all the EMT stuff, but she's been throwing in some skills for us to do and it's really fun. Like today we're doing traumas and so we've been assessing patients and trying to save them in like 5 to 15 minutes. "
She says while the program is tougher than she initially thought it is definitely worth it. "It's a little more tricky than I thought. I didn't realize that it was going to be so hands on, but I think I really like that aspect and I think that it is something that I would consider doing in the future because I really want to be able to make a difference."
Both Couch and Swatsenbarg say they would recommend the programs to their fellow students.
Jim Shank the superintendent of district 91 says students not only learn the skills for a future career but also earn the high school and possible college credit to go with it. "It's what they can earn credit for in the CTE program that the states offers and then also businesses, their needs, their wants, their requirements."
He says the district is trying to work with employers in the area, to help the students gain field experience as well as the classroom background. "They have needs and we want to be able to help them fulfill those. Another example is the city is very interested in what we're doing in training students for our law program. So the police department, what does the future look like that for students? And so you think of all the different types of programs that we have, that's what we want to be, not only drawing upon their interest, the credits they can earn that, preparing them for what it is that they want to do after high school."
Shank says while the building still has one classroom needing some work the building is already able to help students participate in these programs with a centralized location within the district.