February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month® and is a time to celebrate the value of CTE and the achievements of our CTE programs in Elmore County. These programs give students technical skills, academic skills, and employability skills. Regardless of whether students plan to go to college or enter the workforce, CTE programs help prepare them for the future.
Continued growth in our career and technical programs at the Elmore County Technical Center led to the construction of a new 45,000 square foot facility that opened in February 2022. We also completed renovations on the original building in August of 2023, repurposing many of the classrooms and areas. This allowed us to bring all of our programs back onto one campus and expand program offerings. Sixteen programs are currently offered on the ECTC campus: Automotive Technology, Aviation Technology, Culinary, Cybersecurity, Construction Technology, Diesel Technology, Electrical Technology, Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC), Hospitality & Tourism, Information Technology, Medical Sciences, Plumbing & Pipefitting, Pre-Engineering & Design, Public Safety & Law, Teaching & Training, and Welding Technology.
Workforce data impacts the programs we offer and student demand for those programs. The Cybersecurity, Culinary and Diesel Technology programs opened this school year and provide students with knowledge and skills needed for careers in these areas. Just like all other programs at ECTC, these new programs have both a straight to workforce and a continuing education route. Students have the opportunity to receive industry credentials in all of the areas offered. Dual enrollment in technical (manufacturing technology and welding) and academic areas (general psychology, U.S. History 10th grade and 11th grade, American Government, Economics, and English 101 and 102) are also offered on the ECTC campus.
Each of our high schools also offer various CTE programs: Agriscience; Food, Wellness, & Dietetics; Business Management & Administration; Marketing; Culinary; Finance; Advertising Design; General Agriscience; and Sports Medicine. Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC) is offered onsite at Stanhope Elmore High School and Wetumpka High School. Elmore County High and Holtville High School students may participate in JROTC at Wetumpka High School.
Career and Technical Education can benefit students in many ways, and we encourage our students to participate whenever possible. Elmore County Schools constantly strives to provide the best possible environment where every student is empowered and every student succeeds!
Richard Dennis is the Superintendent of Education for Elmore County Schools. He is a 1983 graduate of Holtville High School. He served 21 years as a high school principal at Holtville High, Wetumpka High and most recently, Prattville High. He and wife, Leslie (also an educator) have three sons and a daughter.