The Plymouth School Board members received an update on the North Central CTE (Career and Technical Education) Program during their meeting last week with Director Jen Felke.  Felke has been in the head position for one year.

The North Central CTE Cooperative has been awarded a competitive Perkins grant to partner with Purdue IN-MaC, Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center for approximately $50,000.  This partnership with the cooperative will give their expertise and network to strengthen the relationship between our shared programs in the cooperative, develop work-based learning experiences, and implement next-level programs of study in the CTE areas of Computer Science, Manufacturing, and agriculture. 

Felke said they will be working with Knox as well as Plymouth instructors and administrators as well as industry representatives from Marshall and Starke Counties.   The goal is to build a pathway system to provide the schools with an innovative CTE learning experience through a high-tech curriculum and hands-on learning to provide students with a successful and rewarding career.    

Felke said in a year or so they believe this program will build a better relationship between industry and education and align education with industry needs and state requirements.  They hope to identify key employee skills and create quality workplace learning experiences. Felke explained that the state is pushing for the workplace learning experience.  She even noted this year the CTE Program is working with Universal Bearings in Bremen business on a school-based enterprise. 

Indiana, according to Connexus, has the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in all the states in the country.  Mrs. Felke said about 17% of the jobs in Indiana are manufacturing and in Marshall County alone 36% of the jobs are in manufacturing showing a real need for this new partnership.

Next year Plymouth will offer five new programs, Medical Assisting, Education Careers, Early Childhood Education, Fire & Rescue, and Veterinary Science.