Dr. Joyce L. Malainy
Recently, C-TEC hosted a visitor from California, a writer and podcaster with a national audience, who had never seen Ohio’s delivery of Career Technical Education (CTE) and wanted to do so.
His questions and comments as he toured our Secondary and Post-Secondary Centers reminded me just how important C-TEC is to our students and local economy. And while it seems so much of the news is dominated by the negative indicators in the economy and the difficulties our employers are having in meeting their workforce needs, that visit and his impression of the importance of CTE reassured me that we are on the right path.
While I am certainly more than a little biased, I am proud that the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County is our community’s career technical educational resource of choice. All of us—high school students and adults need and want more security and better career opportunities, and C-TEC helps make those goals attainable. Too often financial and scheduling factors play a role in someone not being able to make a positive change. We try to address that in a variety of ways so that attending C-TEC is a possibility for anyone.
At the secondary center, we work closely with a student’s high school so that they can attend C-TEC and receive career technical training, earning industry-recognized credentials while meeting home district graduation requirements. Through our various school-to-work opportunities, we are helping local employers address their workforce needs and provide valuable work-based learning experiences as a part of the high school curriculum. What a tremendous win-win for our students and regional business and industry partners. Additionally, we prepare our secondary students for options after high school including apprenticeships, and articulation to our post-secondary partners. And we do this with an average high school graduation rate of 98%.
On the post-secondary (adult) side of the campus, we strive to keep the costs low, and schedules flexible while delivering the skills and credentials our business partners need. Our costs are lower than our for-profit competitors and our results demonstrate firsthand how much we rely on student success to push us to work harder to do what we do. The extraordinary work put out by the post-secondary staff during these last years of upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic attests to that fact. In fact, our Post-Secondary Center was recently voted the “Best in Higher Education” in Licking County for the second year in a row!
C-TEC also continues to work closely with various partners to collaborate to bring about successful outcomes for our community. Consider our work with the Ohio to Work (OTW) initiative. OTW started as an initiative created directly in response to the pandemic – to connect employers with the skilled workers they need, and to help Ohio’s job seekers find meaningful employment. OTW helps job-seeking Ohioans not only get back to work but move forward into promising, well-paying careers in manufacturing, IT, and healthcare. The initiative is the culmination of organizations working at the state, regional and local level. Our Post-Secondary Center’s eagerness for collaboration and partner growth is something I am very proud of.
Based on our history, I am confident that C-TEC of Licking County will continue to be a source of good news and opportunity for the residents of central Ohio for many years to come.
Joyce L. Malainy, Ed.D. is the Superintendent of the Career and Technology Education Centers of Licking County