CTE competition gives valuable hands-on experience to UP high schoolers

MARQUETTE —¬†High School students from across the Upper Peninsula came to NMU’s Jacobetti Complex today to take part in this year’s Career and Technical Education Skills Challenge Day.

Students competed in challenges centered around on five skills: construction, welding, automotive, computer aided drafting, and, for the first time, culinary.

“One of the things we want to do is introduce students to what’s in their future possibly,” says Tony Retaskie, one of the event coordinators. “If they want to get into these trades, or maybe culinary. There’s some opportunities here that they have to work under pressure a little bit, and that’s really what the real world is going to be about when they graduate from their high school.”

Throughout the day, CTE teachers participated in professional development sessions focused on best practices in safety, curriculum, instruction, and college and career preparation.

“Sometimes you have to just try it to see if you like it,” said William Becker, a sophomore from Copper Country ISD. “If you don’t like it, fine, if you do like it, that’s even better. There’s a lot of skills that are needed out there right now, because all of the old people that are doing it are retiring.”

Winners of this year’s overall competition win a trophy, plus Carhartt jackets, courtesy of Getz’s in Marquette.