Indiana County Technology Center creates the kind of skilled workforce needed for economic growth and a “bright future” in the region, according to state Rep. Dave Reed, who recently visited the school in support of its Career and Technical Education Month activities.
“As our economy has progressed in the 21st century, we’ve had a lack of a skilled labor force, just the type of labor force produced by career and technical schools,” Reed says in a video testimonial produced by students in ICTC’s Digital Media Technology program. “Here in Indiana County we’re very lucky to have a school like ICTC.”
The full video of Reed’s testimonial is available at www.youtube.com/theICTC.
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While Reed’s visit remains the highlight of ICTC’s activities for CTE Month, its efforts also included visits to Indiana’s Eisenhower, Horace Mann, Ben Franklin and East Pike elementary schools. About 30 ICTC students from its 14 programs demonstrated to those elementary students the tools and practices of their trades in 10- to 15-minute presentations.
Chris Aikens, a senior in Automotive Technology, showed the insides of a small-horsepower engine and passed around a ratchet, micrometer and other specialized automotive tools.
“The kids really seemed to like the see-through containers of old and new engine oil we brought in. I don’t think most of them had ever seen something like that before,” Aikens said. “I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed showing them things about our program.”
Also, students in Digital Media Technology brought along a “green screen,” typically used to digitally combine separately shot footage, such as a person and a background, into one video. During the presentations, the elementary students were able to stand in front of the green screen with props and see themselves as if they were elsewhere.
“It’s important even for this young of students to see the technology and educational possibilities that could await them in the future at ICTC,” said Principal Michael McDermott, who chaperoned the elementary-school initiative. “We wanted to make a memory that someday brings an aspiring computer technician, machinist, cosmetologist, mason or whoever to our doorstep.”
In its other efforts to show appreciation for students and to generate enthusiasm for CTE Month, ICTC also observed special-event days throughout February including camo day; jersey day; hat day; twin day, in which students paired in like outfits; and Fry Day Friday, for which students were served fries, as well as days on which ICTC handed out candy.