At a Glance
The COVID-19 Pandemic presented many challenges to career and technical centers seeking to recruit students from their local sending schools. Students were unable to visit the career and technical center to learn about their programs and the benefits of enrolling in career and technical education. To address this issue, the leadership team at Central Westmoreland Career and Technical Center (CWCTC) decided to take the CWCTC experience to the students via a “Roadshow.” This innovative practice also helped the sending schools meet the requirements for the career education and work standards by creating awareness of careers programs available to their students.
CWCTC put together a series of virtual reality pieces to use for recruitment and general awareness of careers available to young people in their local high schools. The CWCTC Roadshow was developed to have CTC personnel and student ambassadors visit various schools to allow students to experience areas of learning in a CTC. To create engaging opportunities at sending schools, career and technical training equipment was purchased along with a trailer for transport. Among the equipment purchased for the Roadshow were an automotive paint booth simulator, a mobile laser engraver, simulators for operating forklifts and skid loaders, and much more.
Jason Lucia, the center’s administrative director, and key members of the staff traveled to the ten area school districts that send students to the New Stanton facility. Introduced this year, the traveling promotional program has visited 30 schools within the center’s service area, with more stops planned in May, according to Alexander Novickoff, Assistant Director of Workforce Education. The center is planning a roadshow schedule that will “expand to more schools next year and, hopefully, summer events like fairs, festivals,” he said. The effort to reach out to more potential students and their families comes at a time when CWCTC is updating and expanding facilities and programs.
In addition to the staff Roadshow team, student ambassadors were also trained on how to use and demonstrate the equipment. The show was taken to over 30 schools and also to all of the home school board meetings during the 2021–2022 school year. Purchasing equipment and a trailer during Covid was challenging due to the availability of items, but it was achieved, creating a highly engaging experience for high school students.
The roadshow has seen immense success not only at the sending schools but also at school board meetings. This strategy was intended to assure that school board directors understand the type of high-quality programs offered at CWCTC. The immediate result of the Roadshow was a dramatic increase of 30% in applications for the upcoming school year!
Alexander Novickoff, Assistant Director of Workforce Education