Students leave prepared for the journey

By DAWN BONE / Community Columnist

Students all over the country are graduating this month. Some are heading to college, some are joining the military, and some are headed to the workforce. Students in Shelby County Schools have earned credentials to help them be prepared for the workforce.

In the collision repair program at Career Technical Educational Center, 16 students earned their Intro to Collision credential, and 10 of those students also earned the Painting and Refinishing Level 1 credential.

In the automotive technology program at the CTEC, 11 students have earned a combined total of 78 ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) credentials. Four students passed all 10 tests. Three of those four students are first-year students. Some of those credentials include ASE Engine Repair, ASE Engine Performance, ASE Brakes and ASE Maintenance and Light Repair.

At the recent Alabama Career Technical Association Conference, the automotive instructor at CTEC, Robert Irwin, received an award for placing the most students in the workforce in the state of Alabama. His graduates are heading to work at places like Premier Chevrolet, Ernest McCarty Ford and Royal Volkswagon, as well as several other automotive industries.

Twenty-four health science students at CTEC and Helena High School have passed their CPR Instructor certification. In addition, several students at CTEC recently passed their National Patient Care Technician exam. These students are entering college to pursue a degree in health science, heading to the workforce at hospitals such as Shelby Baptist Medical Center, nursing homes, chiropractic offices and rehab facilities across the county or doing a combination of both.

Numerous students earned their NCCER Core certification in welding, carpentry, plumbing and construction. Several students from Calera High School and CTEC have earned their Carpentry Level 1 credential or their Carpentry Level 2 credential. Several agriscience students from Montevallo High School earned a credential in Beef Quality Assurance.

Several students are heading to work in the food industry and over 15 students have earned a credential in the ServSafe Manager exam. Other credentials throughout the county include Inventor (drafting/design program, Chelsea High School), MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist, Oak Mountain High School) and ETA Direct Current Credential (robotics, CTEC). In addition, one cosmetology student from CTEC has taken the state board exam and is a licensed cosmetologist.

As students begin their journey toward their career path, the classes they have taken in our schools, and credentials they have earned, have given them an advantage as well as prepared them for their future.