The Cincinnati Herald produced this report in conjunction with our new partner, WCPO-9 News, which originally appeared as an episode in the Herald’s podcast

By Maeve Hamlet

Cincinnati Public Schools are striving to help students prepare for their future by offering real world experiences with its Career and Technical Program.

The Career and Technical Program at several Cincinnati Public High Schools offers

11 major career fields and 20 specializations, according to the program’s manager, Michael Turner. Thirteen of the district’s 16 high schools offer the program.

Approximately 3,000 students in grades 7-12 have gone through the career technical program at one point or another in their High School Journey.

Career options in the program consist of  health science , information technology,  and cyber security and many more.

“Many people are used to the term vocational school, Cincinnati Public has changed that.

We are preparing students, not just for a career, but for technical work force situations” says Turner.

This program is giving students options for what they’d like to do post graduation. This is defying standard routes. “What our goal is is to provide opportunities so students can do what they want to do with their future,” Turner added to the Cincinnati Herald and its news partner WCPO. “We’ll be bringing the other three high schools on board with some sort of career tech programming within the next two years.”

It is also giving lead-way for students who do choose to go to college. Michael Hunter is a 2019 Woodward High School graduate said he “never would have landed on the path toward a career in construction management at the University of Cincinnati without this program.”

“The teachers there are super supportive,” Hunter said. “They want you to succeed, and they want you to be the best person that you can.”

This program has several business partnerships and is constantly advancing its method of delivery in hopes of a successful post graduate life for these students.

“ The stigma has changed” Turner told the Cincinnati Herald and it’s news partner WCPO. “When students graduate with certain industry recognized credentials, they can go into a job making more than what they would’ve made if they would’ve gotten an associates degree.”

“If they do that and get those credentials, once they graduate from high school, they’ll be able to get hired and really earn in the $50- to $60- to $70,000 range,” says Turner.

The Career and Technical program doesn’t stop helping students after graduation.

“Level up” is a unique program that helps provide people ages 16-24 with

“work readiness and entry-level training that can result in credentials and certifications to create earn-as-you-learn employment pathways.” Says the Cincinnati Public Schools webpage.

Level Up will leverage $700,000 in training for these students and recent graduates from CPS.  It is also offering paid job training and placement in industries such as child development, construction, customer service, healthcare and information technology.

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