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School Board Hears Report on the Career and Technology Center

Daniel Prince

CATE Center has 99% graduation rate and 94.6% placement rate for employment, college, or military

At Monday’s school board meeting, Union County Career and Technology Center Director Kimberly Jones appeared virtually to talk about the center. She said the CATE Center’s goal is to prepare students for successful careers, whether right out of high school or after additional training. She said they have a 99% graduation rate and a 94.6% placement rate, meaning they are employed, going on to college, or in the military at least 10 months after graduation.

Jones said they expose students to a lot of different career opportunities through industry speakers and field studies. They establish community partnerships. They focus on providing authentic experience, hands-on tasks, and practices, teaching hard work and responsibility. The programs they offer are more rigorous now than they were several years ago, and they recognize and impress upon the students that it takes a lot of practice to master the skills they are being taught. She said teamwork is essential to the programs, and they encourage students to work with many different people through joint projects and collaborating across disciplines. Community service is highlighted, and students have a chance to make a difference through their projects.

The center encourages students to participate in organizations within their field to allow for networking with students across the area and the state. Through HOSA, Skills USA, FFA, and the National Technical Honor Society, students have a chance to display what they learn through competitions, and seven of their students were recognized for doing well in those competitions at the school board meeting. Jones mentioned that the center will hold their annual Career and Technical Education Completers Ceremony this Friday morning at 8:30 in the gym.

The CATE Center offers programs in business education, health science, cosmetology, culinary arts, agriculture, public safety, automotive technology, engineering, sports medicine, building construction, automotive collision, and machine tool.

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