On November 29, CTE Enterprises, Clay County High School’s career and technical education program, hosted students and employers at the first ever Try CTE Day. They even allowed students to network with potential future employers, and allowed area businesses to learn more about the program.

“Recognizing that not everyone has a dream of pursuing a four-year degree, the CTE provides an important opportunity for career preparation here in southern West Virginia,” said Julie Greenlee, C.O.O. CTE Enterprises. “Our goal is to provide students the tools necessary to go into high-demand fields immediately upon graduation from high school.”

According to research conducted by the NEA, half of high school students do not pursue higher education, and of those that do attend college, over half do not complete their degree. In West Virginia, over 37 percent of those students who do not wish to go on to college are enrolled in vocational training, compared to the national average of six percent.

“Through real-life hands-on experiences, students are prepared to start earning money after graduation in jobs that are available across the state and region,” said Robert Morris, C.E.O. CTE Enterprises. “The CTE program at Clay County High School is not just an education; it is training for life.”

To accomplish its mission, CTE Enterprises trains students for careers in fields such as web design, electric, plumbing, carpentry and more, to see if these trades are the best fit for them. Students who graduate from technical education programs like CTE can earn as much as 12 percent more within a year of graduation.

During this event, students of Clay County High School visited the vocational wing of the high school to learn about the different trade programs that the school has to offer, as well as test drive career options in these fields. By meeting with both teachers and professionals in these careers, students learned about what the respective fields did on a day-to-day basis, and gave the students an opportunity to network with employers for future job opportunities.

Last year students in the CTE Program planned and built a tiny home from start to finish. In doing this project the students learned both valuable skills and the value of working as a team to accomplish something big. The tiny home was presented to a local resident that lost her home in the floods that took place in June of 2016.