The halls of WEMOCO were crammed with parents, students and community members exploring their options at the annual Career and Technical Education Expo. Current eighth-, ninth- and 10th-graders and their families had the opportunity to discover and discuss the CTE programs that would become available to them as 11th-graders.
Attendees were able to participate in hands-on activities from each program. From Advertising to Phlebotomy and Laboratory Science, prospective CTE students had fun seeing what options were available. Current CTE students had an just as much showing the ropes to those who came to visit. Cosmetology students displayed their styling supplies, carpentry students gave woodworking demonstrations, and future chefs made mouths water in the baking classrooms.
Jake Merica, a 12th-grader at Gates Chili and second-year carpentry student, described what it was like to show off his skills to other students. “It was pretty cool teaching other people what I was doing on the lathe, creating a bowl, and teaching other people what you can do,” Merica said.
Visitors could also discuss local job opportunities with representatives from Monroe Community College, Rochester Works, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Exploring and more.
Jill Slavny, CTE Executive Principal, said the community turnout was encouraging. “[The large number of attendees] means young people are thinking about careers, because regardless of how they get educated, how much education they get, where they get educated – ultimately, everybody needs a career."
She said, “Here you can visit 21 different industries under two roofs. We want every student to come and spend some time here, just to be exposed to where the jobs are, where the opportunities are, and what the industry looks and feels like. We really wanted to feel like a community [career education] resource that everyone could come and join.”