PIQUA — Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted toured Piqua’s Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC) Tuesday morning as part of his four-stop visit to the Dayton region to highlight workforce development efforts and to promote the state’s work to champion career, technical, and vocational education.
“This is an impressive school with a lot of impressive teachers and students. Any career, basically, that you want, you can get your start right here,” Husted said. “The students here are leaving the school ready to be employed. What I witnessed today are a number of students signing on to go to work while they’re in school, and when they leave school, to go work with a lot of the area’s employers.”
UVCC’s current enrollment is 3,417 satellite students from 12 schools throughout Miami and Shelby counties, with over 1,000 students at the school’s main campus. The career center offers 25 career pathways and boasts an overall placement rate of students within college, career or military at 93%.
Husted toured the main campus Tuesday with UVCC administrators, including Superintendent Jason Haak and Executive Director Michelle Brunson, among other supervisors and coordinators. The lieutenant governor was given an overview of what the career center has to offer and sat in during several signings between students and area businesses.
“Last year at this school, there were 58 students who made over $1 million while going to school here. They’re earning a lot of money (and) they’re learning how to wisely spend that money once they get out into the world,” Husted said. “Students here are developing skills from manufacturing to electronics to technology to auto, health, you name it; it’s just amazing what’s going on at this school.”
Husted encouraged families with young people to consider enrollment in local career centers as a prosperous career option.
“A lot of times, people look at career centers and say, ‘Well, that’s a non-college pathway,’” he said. “It can be a great non-college pathway, but you also can get college credits while you’re here, earn those credentials and then go to work.”
Husted noted the pathways available to students at UVCC can lead to lucrative careers, which in turn leads to successful, productive communities.
“Many students are leaving here making over $50,000 a year right out of high school with no debt, starting at 18 years of age and making over $30 an hour,” he said. “Also, I’ll promise you this, if we want the Miami Valley to be prosperous, we need a workforce and this is a place that’s turning out that workforce of the future. Employers will grow here, employers will come here because they know they have access to great talent and, right here (at UVCC), they’re producing the talent of the future.”