High school students opt for trade training over higher education

Posted at 9:50 PM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 04:11:21-05

There has been a longstanding push to enroll seniors in college programs, but higher education isn’t always a perfect fit for everyone.

This is why Temple ISD is offering several trade programs to make sure these young talents are on track to enter the workforce, should they opt against heading to college.

“I plan on going into the carpentry business right out of high school,” said Jacoah Gray, a sophomore enrolled in a construction apprenticeship.

He says he has always been a hands-on learner and found a future within the program.

“This class is very, very important to me. It’s very cool to have something like this in the school,” said Angel Rondon, a participant in the program.

Angel isn’t counting out college but likes knowing he has the option to dive into the workforce with the skills required to succeed in a high-demand market.

Students entering into a career with certifications earned through the program can make more than double the hourly minimum wage in entry-level positions.

“They work on all those credentials, that builds upon an NCCER card, and that follows them throughout the U.S., internationally it’s with them,” said Paul Gonzales, a teacher.

As much as programs like these benefit students, they also help feed the demand for skilled laborers. This supports Temple businesses.

Temple ISD has partnerships with many area businesses to further enhance the learning experience.

“Many of our students say, wow, I didn’t even know that company existed so we’ve just opened an opportunity for them by saying here’s an option for someplace you can work,” said Denise Ayres, Director of Career and Technical Education.

Trade classes help all students, not just ones entering into a vocation.

“CTE classes prepare students for college just as much as it does prepare students for the workforce. Data shows that students that take at least one CTE class are more prepared for college classes than those who don’t,” said Ayres.

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