CATE Center works closely with industry professionals

The Union County Career and Technology Center had its first advisory council meeting for the 2013-2014 year.

The main focus of the advisory meetings is to make a connection between the CATE Center and industry professionals in the community, as local industry professionals offer a wide variety of assistance in promoting vocational education. They contribute equipment, supplies and — most importantly — their expertise in guiding career and technology classes.

David — a firefighter from the Camp Croft Fire Department — came to Union County High School recently to offer students a chance to learn how to use a fire extinguisher. Students were given the chance to put out small fires to gain critical safety skills when dealing with emergency situations such as a fire. Several classes such as agriculture, food and nutrition, and mechatronics were on hand to take part in this opportunity.

Local companies also provide apprentice, co-op, job shadowing and field trip opportunities. Grayson Garrett — a senior at Union County High School and Vice President of FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) — is learning the latest design techniques by job shadowing in a local screen printing shop. He is using his newly acquired skills to design t-shirts for local projects including FBLA’s club t-shirt and the popular “Lake Life” t-shirt.

“Working for Crisp and Son has changed my life by allowing me to gain experience in an actual job setting,” Garrett said. “It gives me experience in meeting deadlines, managing my time and using programs for the industry I want to go into.”

The HOSA (Health Occupations Students Association) Club is also building relationships in the community and taking part in field trips. Its members visited a local nursing home for trick-or-treating on Oct. 19. Only the HOSA students — currently 55 members — brought the treats for the nursing home residents. Also, the HOSA club will receive help from the local health industry so that anatomy students can visit The Body Works exhibit in Atlanta, GA.

All of these experiences and opportunities would not come to fruition without the support of local industry professionals. With their help, the Union County Career and Technology Center will further build relationships and provide students the opportunity to gain skills and become career ready.

This story was submitted by the Union County Career and Technology Center, printed in The Union Daily Times