PIQUA – The Upper Valley Career Center kicked off the 2019-20 school year on Thursday with record enrollment.
Just over 1,100 students in grades 11 and 12 will spend their school year on the main campus in Piqua while an additional 3,000-plus students will participate in UVCC sponsored satellite programs at their home schools throughout Miami and Shelby counties.
“People everywhere are seeing that career tech education works,” Jason Haak, assistant superintendent of UVCC, said. “Each year we see students’ lives transformed by the experience and education they receive here. We see kids find their path and step into life after high school with certifications, industry credentials or college credit in their hands. ”
With enrollment and the demand for career tech education consistently growing, UVCC is responding. On the main campus, several programs were updated and expanded.
Construction technologies has taken the place of carpentry, which will expose students to commercial as well as residential construction technologies. Masonry, plumbing and mechanical systems is another program newly expanded for this school year to help address the local workforce needs in this skilled trade.
The Teacher Academy program has moved next door to Edison State Community College. While still a high school course of UVCC, this location change is ideal for the Teacher Academy students, as many of these students are already enrolled in College Credit Plus classes at Edison.
The Medical Careers Academy at UVCC is striving to offer students several pathways while addressing the local health care workforce demands. In their two years at the Career Center, MCA students can work toward State Tested Nurse Aide, Licensed Medical Assisting and phlebotomy certifications. As seniors, students have opportunities for work-based study in a number of health care settings to fully utilize their earned credentials and gain real-work experience.
Satellite offerings have expanded at Piqua High School this year with the addition of a medical and health care services program, as well as mechatronics. Mechatronics is focused on exposing students to careers in the manufacturing field by studying robotics, logistics and vital industry systems.
Several new staff members have joined the UVCC team this school year. They are Erika Butler, student assistance coordinator; Ryan Counts, intervention specialist; Tom Gariety, construction technologies paraprofessional; Drew Ihle, electrical trades paraprofessional; Nicole Pleiman, medical careers academy instructor; and Joe Weaver, construction technologies instructor.
Scott Naill, who served as adult division director for the past two years, has chosen to return to the classroom as the high school HVAC instructor.
For more information on the Upper Valley Career Center, visit www.uppervalleyc.org.