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CLC Connection: Career and Technical Education Month

February is Career and Technical Education Month. Of course, as a community and technical college, Central Lakes College is passionate about career and technical education. As residents of central Minnesota, we all are dependent on technical fiel...

Hara Charlier
Hara Charlier

February is Career and Technical Education Month. Of course, as a community and technical college, Central Lakes College is passionate about career and technical education. As residents of central Minnesota, we all are dependent on technical fields, which fuel our economy and impact our lives every day. This month is the perfect time to remind ourselves of the high skilled, high demand and highly paid technical careers that require a certificate, diploma or Associates degree. In fact, CLC has more than 60 of these opportunities for our students, and graduates are employed in their field at a rate of 90 percent!

There are so many career options available to students. At CLC, our mission to "build futures" makes us committed to helping students explore these options. Rather than assuming that you need a particular degree, we encourage you to first consider the career that best fits your talents, interests and goals. Then, and only then, consider the path to get you there.

If that pathway includes a bachelor degree or higher, CLC embraces the liberal arts and is proud of the many pathways and partnerships to get you there. If you choose a technical career, our certificates, diplomas or associate degrees offer rapid entry, cutting-edge, hands-on experiences, and great opportunities right here at home. And while public perception is still catching up, we know that technical careers have great opportunities for advancement and pathways to future education. What's more, according to the Association for Career and Technical Education, 27 percent of people with a certificate, diploma, or associate degrees earn more than the average bachelor's degree holder. So, keep your options and eyes open and take the time to find the right career for you!

Of course, regardless of your path, the end-goal is to enter the workforce in a career that meets your needs. In many of our CTE programs, our students have jobs waiting for them when they graduate. Some even start those jobs while completing their degree. That transition is made easily thanks to our workforce partners and program advisory boards, which are staffed with industry experts. Working with our faculty, they ensure our students are learning the most relevant skills with the most up-to-date equipment and procedures.

By working together with our area businesses and secondary school partners, CLC is proud to work toward meeting Central Minnesota's need for talent. You need only to visit our campuses to see that talent for yourself. Thank you to our industry leaders who pour their heart into our CTE programs. We appreciate everything they do for the College and for the future of our communities.

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CHARLIER is president of Central Lakes College

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