Each year Career & Technical Education (CTE) is recognized and celebrated at UniTec Career Center during the month of February.
It provides an opportunity for CTE programs across the country to demonstrate how CTE educates students to be college and career-ready and prepares them for high-wage, high-demand career fields. UniTec Career Center in Bonne Terre provides this training and skills in CTE for the Parkland area. This year’s theme is “Career and Technical Education WORKS!”
UniTec offers programs and training for students from area high schools, for Mineral Area College students, and for adults looking for training in new skills or certification for jobs. The career center has been providing these opportunities to the area since 1943. The names of the school and programs have changed through the years, but not the continued service and high quality technical education available.
To celebrate this month, there are many activities and events planned. The biggest event for UniTec students is the annual SkillsUSA District Championships which will be held at Jefferson College in Hillsboro. This is comparable to a conference tournament for volleyball, basketball, scholar bowl or any other ‘sporting’ event.
Students compete individually by performing skills learned in their CTE program against students from other career centers in the ‘conference’. There are three medal winners for each competition with the first and second place winners moving on to state competition and if they win first place at state, they go on to compete at the national level.
In addition to medals, many students are awarded other prizes and/or college scholarships provided through business, industry, and college partnerships. Business and industry participate strongly as they know much of their future workforce comes through training at career centers such as UniTec and as with any competition, some of the best show up during this time. CTE student showcase their talent as future electrical workers, welders, carpenters, and much more. The students also have the opportunity to compete in job interviewing skills. Since business and industry is part of the competitions, they are willing to reward and/or hire these students as they see how well they can perform the skills employers are looking for.
Some other events planned for the month are visits from colleges and recruiters to provide information to prospective students, sophomore tours from area sending schools, and a spirit week to name a few highlights. This year’s theme, “Career and Technical Education Works,” is appropriate as CTE does work by providing opportunities, training, and careers for students.
Anyone who is interested in career and technical education, programs offered, certifications available, can call 573-358-2271 or visit the school. On March 14, as a follow-up to CTE Month, there will be an open house from 3 to 6 p.m. to see the career center and for sophomores and their parents to have the opportunity for a second look at UniTec Career Center and what it has to offer for students working on their high school schedules. The school encourages visitors to take advantage of this opportunity and see how CTE Works.