Over the next decade, 3.4 million manufacturing jobs are expected to become available as baby boomers retire and economic growth spurs work opportunities, according to a 2015 study by the Manufacturing Institute, a Washington-based think tank, and Deloitte LLC. But a skills gap could result in 2 million of those jobs staying unfilled. With this in mind, students enrolled in the Industrial Maintenance and Welding programs at Clinton County ATC are taking steps early to gain the technical skills needed to fill the local skills gap. Upon completing a sequence of courses within the Career Pathway program of studies, students are graduating from high school with stackable, portable industry certifications. The training received within the various pathways at the ATC prepare students to transition into the KYFAME (The Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education) program at Somerset Community College or other technical programs offered at other post-secondary institutions. Clinton County ATC students who transition into post-secondary education programs after high school can utilize the Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship, which will pay tuition for short-term, career-related certificates in fields where there are good paying jobs. The Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship helps Kentuckians who have not yet earned an associate's degree afford an industry-recognized certificate or diploma. For more information visit www.kheaa.com.
Approximately 500 students from Cumberland and Clinton County attend the ATC and are involved in work based learning and student leadership organizations while completing CTE coursework and industry certifications. Clinton County ATC is home to the following career and technical student organizations: Future Business Leaders of America, HOSA – Future Health Professionals, and SkillsUSA. These organizations complement students’ CTE coursework, offering opportunities for leadership training, community service, skills competition, scholarships, professional development and more. In addition to tackling class projects that mirror on-the-job challenges, there are multiple ways for ATC students to get a sense of what work life is like, test their skills in the real world and gain resume-building experience.
- Job shadows: Students shadow a professional in their chosen field of study on a typical work day, learning about different aspects of a given job.
- Internships: Based on their career and technical education program, students are matched with local businesses that provide them with unpaid positions.
- Co-ops: Co-op partners offer paid positions to students, pairing them with mentors who provide training in preparation for end-of-program performance evaluations.
Clinton County ATC maintains relationships with area employers, which helps students secure internships and co-ops that lead to possible permanent positions after they graduate from high school or college. The mission of Career and Technical Education is to provide students with skills necessary for a successful transition to postsecondary education or work and a desire for life-long learning in a global society. Career and Technical Education is a critical component in meeting the needs of students in academic achievement, career exploration, career preparation and leadership development. For more information regarding Career Pathways or training provided at Clinton County ATC, please call (606) 387-6448.