Steel Center's name change reflects updated programs
Steel Center Area Vocational Technical School now is known as Steel Center for Career and Technical Education.
The school in Jefferson Hills changed its name this week to reflect its updated focus.
“There has been significant reform at the school in the last three years,” said Kevin Rice, director, explaining that many schools nationwide have removed “vo-tech” from their names.
“It conjures up thoughts of limits,” Rice said of the term, while Steel Center's new designation better reflects the idea of students there becoming lifelong learners.
The school opened in 1964 in West Mifflin. Eleven school districts now provide nearly 80 percent of its $5.3 million annual budget, with the state contributing 16 percent and the federal government, 5 percent.
Steel Center's nearly 600 students from the participating districts can prepare for careers in 15 areas. The most popular courses are health assistant, baking/pastry chef and electrical construction.
The school has a capacity for 800 students, and Rice anticipates that next year's enrollment will be 615 to 620 students.
Mitchell Martino, 18, a recent graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, has been a member of Local 66 Operating Engineers for two weeks. He began taking classes at Steel Center as a sophomore and now is at the union local's training site in New Alexandria.
As he learns, he'll earn college credits, he said. Being an apprentice for four years will lead to journeyman status and perhaps, to a management job within the union, he said.
Higher education doesn't have to be a choice between college and hands-on learning.
Rice said he is a career-technology-education graduate, with a concentration in drafting. He has master's degrees in counseling and education leadership and came to Steel Center after seven and a half years as assistant director of Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center.
“We're creating a view of what we're preparing young adults for,” Rice said.
Destinee Simmons, a recent South Allegheny High School graduate and a three-year Steel Center student in the school's advertising and design program, designed a new logo for the career school.
The logo uses the school's new colors, blue and black, and new name. Simmons, 18, of Glassport, will attend the Penn State Greater Allegheny campus in McKeesport and hopes for a career in advertising.
The blue bands on the logo, shown as a sunburst, represent the road she took to her future, said Simmons, adding that at Steel Center, she found direction.
Students and staff chose her logo, from about 50 entries. “It was the clear choice,” Rice said.
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.