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Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center plans open house on Thursday

Nancy Henry | for the Daily Courier
With some of the door prizes to be given away at Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center’s open house on Thursday are (standing, from left) Kolby Burkholder, Katie Mullen, Tamika Cornish; (kneeling) Alex Penwell and Caitlin Horner, representing Auto Collision and Cosmetology programs. Eighth- and ninth-grade students are encouraged to attend, accompanied by parents or guardians.

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By Nancy Henry
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 6:36 a.m.

Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center will hold an open house for eighth- and ninth-graders and their parents or guardians on Thursday.

“This is an important event for these students. A decision to attend one of our CACTC programs can offer a bright employment future,” said Karl Butchko, auto collision instructor.

The staff reportedly has gone all out to make it a successful evening. The open house will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., offering information on class structure and instruction, building tours and more.

A spaghetti dinner will be served at 7 p.m. by the culinary students at a cost of $1 per person, after a tour of at least three shops. Those who attend can register for door prize drawings, which will take place after the dinner.

“Many people don't realize that students can earn advanced college credits by completing any of our 14 technical programs,” said Linda Murphy, administrative director. “So often, students and parents are unaware that they can save time and money by attending career and technical programs.”

She noted that for college-bound students, it's an advantage to get a start on their post-secondary education; for students who want to get right into the workforce, the programs offer industry certifications that employers look for.

“Technical education also provides the exposure to the latest technical equipment and skill training in programs directed by advisory committees made up of people from local businesses,” Murphy added. “Students should be aware of the increasing demands of the workforce and the opportunity to learn trade-specific skills to meet those demands. Business and industry, as well as labor market statistics, predict the growing need for trained workers.

“For example, our construction programs — Masonry, Electrical Occupations, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and Carpentry — have received the endorsement of the Pa. Builders Association and, therefore, can provide the much-needed skilled workers who can earn excellent salaries in high-demand jobs.”

“We want to introduce this age group of students to our outstanding programs and be sure they know that they can attend starting in ninth grade,” Butchko said. “We want to encourage them to enroll here and be able to acquire skills that are in demand in our area. There are jobs waiting to be filled by those who complete our programs.”

Some of the door prizes have been donated by area businesses, many of which are affiliated with CACTC programs.

Varied and given by the classes, the door prizes include: Auto Technology, a Craftsman screw driver set; Auto Collision 2, detailing wash buckets with supplies and a 50-piece socket set; Welding 1, a 4 12-inch angle grinder; Electronics, one TV of choice; Health 2, first aid kits; Protective Service, a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors; HVAC 1, a large metal star; Marketing, a $25 gift card; Carpentry 1, a corn hole game; Culinary 1, a cake; Electrical, a circuit tester; Masonry, a tool bag with masonry tools; Computer Network, a $25 Staples gift card; and Cosmetology, a basket with nail polish.

Additionally, King's Super Tire has donated a $100 gift card to be given away to someone in attendance at the open house, and the academic teachers are donating Lottery tickets.

“Although open to the general public, we hope that the eighth- and ninth-grade students will attend, to do some career exploring and planning to see how CACTC can help them find direction and then reach their goals. Be prepared, be skilled,” Murphy stressed.

For more information call 724-626-0236, ext. 2301 or 2310.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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