PIQUA — Upper Valley Career Center continued to expand its programs and facilities during 2017 to meet the needs and interests of area students and employers.
“At the high school level, a Veterinary Science program was added after several years of research and planning by staff, in collaboration with industry advisory committee members,” said Superintendent Dr. Nancy Luce. “The program opened in the fall of 2017 with 26 students under the leadership of local veterinarian, Dr. Deb Stanfield. While the program is currently housed in a science classroom, a $1.2 million Vet Science Center is under construction and will open to students and animals in March of 2018.
Her report continues:
Within the main building, the Manufacturing and Machining Lab and Classroom were expanded to accommodate increased numbers of students. In addition, the Apprenticeship Program increased substantially – from 35 to 62 students. Seniors who meet stringent eligibility criteria can alternate between working and attending school every two weeks. Tony Trapp, Apprenticeship Coordinator, works with employers interested in exploring internship opportunities. He can be contacted at [email protected]
Another high school program experiencing growth was the Teacher Academy. Originally coordinated by one teacher who taught students at the main campus and Troy High School, classes are now offered by two teachers, one at each location.
Two new opportunities were made available to the community in 2017. A Fab Lab was created and equipped with computers, 3-D printers, engravers, and other equipment to provide a location for designing, creating, and building by adults, clubs, and younger student groups in the community, as well Career Center students. In addition, a mobile lab was purchased that can be outfitted with a variety of simulators to promote STEM education.
In the Adult Division, Scott Naill was hired as the new Adult Director. Last fiscal year, 927 individuals took advantage of workforce training programs. These programs include: Full-Time Career Training Programs; Skill Enhancement Classes; the Aspire Program; and customized incumbent worker training for employers. In addition, over 750 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; and Practical Nursing. Career Tech programs are 9 to 11 months in length, and students may earn state and nationally-recognized industry credentials and/or licensures. Some programs offer college credit through the Ohio Department of Higher Education’s state initiatives. Skill Enhancement classes include: Forklift Operator, OSHA 30, Microsoft Office, ServSafe, Welding, Blueprint Reading, CAD/CAM, and more.
Upper Valley Career Center encourages all students to understand the global, interconnected nature of the environment in which we work and live. As part of this initiative, Upper Valley collaborated with a career and technical school in Hannover, Germany to establish a student exchange program. In September, students from Hannover spent two weeks with Upper Valley students and their families, visiting area companies, and attending classes. In November, Upper Valley students and staff visited Germany. This experience was valuable not only for the students who participated in the exchange, but for all Upper Valley students who had the opportunity to learn more about another culture and the interrelationships that exist.
As we look to the future, Upper Valley Career Center will continue to explore additional high school and adult programs that align with area workforce needs. We are proud that we are recognized for offering ever-evolving state of the art programs while continuing to operate in a fiscally conservative manner.