Employment Data Sparks Greater Enthusiasm for Career Technical Education (CTE) Opportunities Among Students

Strong demand for technical experts in a variety of vocations in the face of an ever-tightening workforce of skilled technical professionals has bolstered interest in CTE training among the nation’s high school students. Today’s students understand they can enjoy rewarding careers and economic stability without taking on the burden of crushing college debt. McCownGordon understands the breadth and depth of opportunities offered by CTE programs and creates spaces to help students excel.

Culinary Centers

Culinary centers offer students the opportunity to explore careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry, offering options that range from restaurant manager to chef. The Gardner-Edgerton High School CTE includes a culinary kitchen with 10 gas stovetops and a full-scale restaurant open to the public, giving students real-world experience as chefs, servers and restaurant managers.

Retail Centers

For business-minded students, retail centers like this one built into Basehor-Linwood’s CTE, with its coffee shop vibe, provide the opportunity to manage a retail business. This two-story building features flexible learning spaces enabling students to flow from classroom settings to workshops, design labs, IT labs and more. The coffeeshop location also doubles as a great space for students to study, meet or just hang out between classes.

Public Safety

Some school districts are partnering directly with the community to help train students in fields like public safety. Blue Valley Southwest High School partnered with the local city fire department, for which McCownGordon built a fire station on the high school campus, to provide real-world learning for students in the fire safety and EMT arenas.

In another partnership endeavor, McCownGordon worked with Olathe West High School to construct a space specifically for public safety education, with large overhead doors to accommodate fire trucks, ambulances and police cars that visit the location regularly and provide hands-on learning for students.

Technical Trades 

At the Missouri Innovation Campus CTE created for Lee’s Summit School District, students select from a variety of course options, including careers in the technical trades. For example, their sophisticated, mock electrical wiring classrooms allow students to engage in activities they’d experience as an electrician on the job.

Similarly, Salina Central High School’s CTE offered students the opportunity to contribute to the renovation of their own building. Those attending carpentry classes in the woodshop component of the CTE created environmental wall décor for the common space in the building, engaging in all aspects of building and installing three-dimensional environmental graphics.