PIQUA — Upper Valley Career Center has been proudly serving the region for 42 years as a provider of career and technical training to students in grades 7-12 and adults.
“Career and technical education teaches students to think critically, work both independently and as part of a team, find solutions to real life problems and develop a strong work ethic – all while engaged in applied, real-world practical training,” said Dr. Nancy Luce, superintendent. “For example our students are operating a restaurant, building a house, designing web pages, providing quality educational services to toddlers and pre-schoolers, serving as nursing assistants in care facilities, developing individualized fitness regiments and oversee more than 180 acres of wetlands and forest.”
Her report continues:
On the main campus, more than 830 11th- and 12th-grade students are enrolled in 25 programs. Another 3,220 students grade 7-12 are receiving training in Upper Valley Career Center programs in area middle and high schools. Over 98 percent of our students earned a high school diploma and within six months of graduation 92 percent were in college or other post-secondary training, employed and/or serving in the military.
A continuing focus is the expansion of our Apprenticeship program, which is approved by the Ohio State Apprenticeship Council. In the past four years, 122 HS apprentice successfully completed the rigorous program. Fifty-six companies served as apprenticeship sites for these students. Our staff continues to work closely with interested employers to meet their needs and expand opportunities for students.
A new Fab Lab equipped with design software, 3-D printers, mills, lathes, CNC routers and laser engravers opened this year. The facility will be used to foster innovation among students, as well as provide a site for younger learners to explore engineering and manufacturing in a hands-on setting during afterschool programs. The goal is to expand use of the Fab Lab to provide community members scheduled access when school is not in session.
We look forward to the launch of a Vet Science program this fall. This program will interest students wanting to pursue careers as a veterinarian, vet tech or in related fields. Students will learn about large and small animals with a strong focus on anatomy, physiology, and nutrition.
Last year 1,361 individuals took advantage of Adult Division training offered through our Career-Technology (CTE) programs, Skill Enhancement classes, the Adult Basic Education program and customized incumbent-worker training for employers. Over 250 individuals took advantage of our Assessment Center to earn their GEDs, National Career Readiness Certificates, and various industry credentials such as CompTIA and Cisco.
The Adult CTE programs include: Advanced Manufacturing Maintenance: PLC Specialty; Precision Tooling and Machining; HVAC and Refrigeration; Practical Nursing; Medical and Business Office Professional. CTE programs are 9 to 11 months in length. CTE students can earn state and nationally recognized industry credentials. Some CTE programs offer college credit through Ohio Department of Higher Education’s state initiatives. Financial aid is available for those who qualify.
Skill Enhancement classes range from 4 to 250 hours in length. Topics currently include: Forklift Operator, Microsoft Office, ServSafe, Certified Logistics Associate plus many more options. This coming fall, we will be adding Phlebotomy and EKG classes. Upper Valley Career Center Adult Division is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
As a district Upper Valley Career Center is dedicated to offering programs that prepare students for immediate jobs as well as the next levels of training. Programming grows and changes to align with current demands.
A vital component of our success has been and continues to be the strong support of community, education, and business/industry representatives who serve as vital partners in our evolution.