Nelson County Area Technology Center's Summer Programs Cultivate Student Connections and Foster Career Exploration
The Nelson County Area Technology Center (ATC) is making waves with its exceptional summer program offerings in various fields, including automotive, IT, aerospace, health science, carpentry, welding, and more. Director Kelsey Berryman emphasizes the significance of the ATC's unique approach in connecting students to people, place, and purpose, highlighting the substantial impact on their future prospects.
"The ATC and its cutting-edge labs serve as unparalleled gateways into industries and employers," Berryman explains. "They provide students with an initial connection to a place intertwined with specific trades or skills. Our instructors possess dual expertise, wearing the hats of both skill experts and teachers. With their professional connections and teaching prowess, they become pivotal figures, empowering students to explore their potential and navigate their future paths."
Berryman further underscores the two-fold importance of offering these summer programs, encompassing program development and community development. She notes that the construction of a robust career and technical education (CTE) program extends far beyond high school, necessitating early exposure, ideally starting as early as fifth grade.
"By granting students the opportunity to come in, play, and explore, we offer them a glimpse into life at the ATC. This experience enables them to recognize the possibilities and open doors awaiting them here."
Kelsey Berryman, Director of Area Technology Center
"Simultaneously, it aids us in developing stronger programs for the long run. We firmly believe that an introduction to automotive, welding, carpentry, and other trades allows students to discover their interests and talents, paving the way for a multitude of opportunities." Berryman explains.
Berryman also highlights the pressing global demand for skilled trades and the pivotal role they play in societies. "The trades form the foundation of our country and communities," she remarks. "As these job opportunities become increasingly available, there is a noticeable scarcity of qualified applicants. By exposing students to these trades, we aim to establish a pipeline within our community, ensuring that these essential positions remain within Nelson County. We want students to understand that they have the ability to thrive in these professions without feeling compelled to seek opportunities elsewhere."
The success of the ATC's summer programs speaks volumes about the impact of early exposure to career pathways. As registrations rapidly approach capacity, the Nelson County Area Technology Center remains committed to guiding students toward fulfilling futures, fostering community development, and meeting the growing demand for skilled trades.
The Nelson County Area Technology Center unveiled its newest career pathway, heavy equipment, to the community and industry professionals. Program instructor Scott Thompson highlights his future for the early stages of the pathway. Thompson will helm this new pathway designed to give students hands-on experience with heavy machinery such as skid steers and excavators.
In the coming weeks, NCS leaders will begin working closely with community members to develop a larger vision for career programming that would potentially lead to a transition of the Bloomfield Middle School campus. Diesel Technology and Heavy Equipment Operations are two high demand career programs that will be on the table for potential expansion of the UP Center into Bloomfield.
Nelson County Schools has solidified a remarkable partnership with CHI and Flaget Memorial Hospital, heralding a new era of opportunities for students pursuing careers in the Health Science Pathway. The collaborative initiative between NCS and the local hospital aims to provide aspiring healthcare professionals with unparalleled access to real-world experiences and invaluable networking prospects.
As summer break comes to a close, we want to celebrate a truly amazing summer of learning! Through the Summer Leadership Pathway Nelson County Schools has offered several internal opportunities for learning and growth. However - some leaders across NCS just can’t get enough. From FFA conferences to PBL Works in Napa Valley, California and more - our leaders are models for lifelong learning.
The Nelson County Schools Leadership Institute is pioneering an innovative six-week program tailored to career professionals with a passion for teaching. The program, designed to equip participants with teaching certifications, offers an accelerated curriculum that covers essential educational content, providing a substantial savings in time and money compared to traditional teacher education programs.