DPS Career and Technical Education event celebrates employers, showcases offerings

November 20, 2016
CTE Advisory Board member Brian Allen of bioMérieux talks with Southern School of Energy & Sustainability biomedical science teacher Lauren Lawrence.

More than 150 employers, educators, students and public officials converged at Southern School of Energy & Sustainability Oct. 25 for Durham Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education’s “An Evening with CTE.”

The annual event celebrates businesses that advise, partner and support the school system’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and showcases the extensive offerings available for middle and high school students.

CTE Director Rick Sheldahl applauded employers for helping students make the connection between what they learn in school and the world of work, which research shows can contribute to both academic and career success.

“There’s nothing much more important in a young person’s development than being able to go out into the workplace and see what they want to do or do not want to do,” Sheldahl said. “And the earlier we can determine that, the better off it is for them.”

DPS Superintendent Bert L’Homme echoed Sheldahl’s remarks.

“Training is more important today than ever before,” L’Homme said. “Everything has got to include training so you can go out into the world, work, make a good salary, raise a family, buy a house and do all those things you are dreaming about today.”

CTE’s mission is to empower students to be successful citizens, workers and leaders in a global economy. It serves nearly 15,000 DPS students with programs that help them explore and prepare for career opportunities.

Programs offered at 19 middle and high schools tightly align courses with growing, jobs-producing industry clusters in the region, from agriculture, construction, engineering and health sciences to information technology, logistics, public safety and transportation.

CTE collaborates with the City of Durham, Durham County, Durham Technical Community College, Made in Durham and regional employers to offer the Durham YouthWork Internship Program. YouthWork places young people ages 14-24 in paid summer internships that offer them exposure and experiences in regional businesses and nonprofit. A YouthWork scale-up campaign this fall seeks employers willing to help the program add 50 new paid internships, for a total 250, offered to Durham youth during summer 2017.

Learn more about CTE at www.dpsnc.net/cte.

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