Trades & Industries Expo Jump Starting Student's Careers

February 24, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck

High school students are starting earlier and earlier to prepare for their future careers. As KPLC's Lee Peck reports, the College Street Vocational Center is helping to jump start the futures of many Lake Area students.

"Not all students are college bound. Some want to get out into the real world right away. Our courses are two years. We do a lot of hands on training with students, a lot of one on one with the instructors," explained Instructor George Albers.

From drafting to computers, the College Street Vocational Center offers 10 career areas of choice. Saturday parents and prospective students had the opportunity to tour and ask questions about each program.

"I just wanted to know about salary and would they be qualified when they got through with this program to start working in the field right away," inquired Kristi Remy.

Popular among the boys is carpentry. Chris Austin is a 7th grader and says he looks forward to wood working. "I could learn the blue prints, like the safety of how to use the wood and actually how to build the houses," said Austin.

Students can also learn their way around the kitchen, which is no doubt a life lesson. As some students are learning it can also turn into a lucrative business.

"This teaches you a lot about responsibility and it gets you prepared for whenever you go to college and learn how to do it," said culinary student Maegan Norsworthy.

Rachael Ray and Emeril... You could be in for some stiff competition with up and coming chef Maegan Norsworthy. "I've learned that if I wanted to I could start my own business because we learn safety skills, we learn how to manage our time well and how to deal with people," said Norsworthy.

If automotives is your passion, they can teach you a thing or two under the hood. "In our program we teach them the 4 ASE areas: breaks, steering/suspension, engine performance and electrical electronics for modern automobiles," said automotive technology instructor Lee Derouen.

After three years of training, Barbe Senior Justin Gary is employed in a co-op program at the Mark Dodge dealership. "The dealerships have these courses, and they give you training where you learn a specific area or a specific make and model," said Gary.

For more information or to set up a visit, you can contact the Calcasieu College Street Vocational Center at 491-1736.