XENIA — Greene County Career Center’s expansion and new construction in 2020 is showing remarkable dividends for business and industry as well as Greene County families in 2022. Enrollment in many of the center’s high school career technical programs is at capacity. Employers clamor for access to career center graduates to fill a job market hungry for trained workers. This explosion in enrollment mirrors a nationwide trend among career-tech centers.
“Our new facility certainly exposes more students to career tech opportunities,” said Greene County Career Center Superintendent David Deskins. “More importantly, parents are realizing that their students can advance their careers more affordably with our programming while maximizing opportunities for Tech Prep scholarships and college credit plus. We truly do provide both career and college pathways for our students.”
Tech Prep scholarships are valued at $3000 and available to career center students advancing to Clark State or Sinclair College after completing their chosen two year pathway. College Credit Plus allows students to earn high school credit while still in high school.
“One of the most important components of attending the career center is the ability to earn industry certifications that can ready a student for workforce or college,” Deskins added. “Many of our programs, including information technology, welding and metal fabrication, robotics and automation and others, provide both instruction and testing opportunities for students allowing them to market themselves better thanks to these credentials, earned while still in high school. Employers have confidence that our students are qualified in specific skill sets thanks to these certifications.”
“We watch the job market and listen to our business partners and advisory committees,” said Deskins. “Being responsive to the needs of employers is important as we look to fine-tune programs and services to meet the needs of the respective industries we prepare students towards.”
The school’s location on Innovation Drive is centrally-located in the county and is adjacent to the industrial park located between U.S. 68 and State Route 380 south of Xenia. Deskins is confident the school’s location will help develop the local economy by attracting businesses to the area.
“It is our belief that opportunities will be coming in the future where manufacturing, construction and other industries will choose Greene County as a destination for expansion,” he added.
At the main campus, the school currently offers the following programming for high school juniors and seniors: advanced engineering systems, auto collision repair, automotive technology, career-based intervention, career exploration, construction technology, cosmetology, criminal justice, culinary arts, cybersecurity, digital design and development, drone and UAS technology, electrical wiring and motor controls, health science academy, information technology, natural resource technology, power equipment mechanics, robotics and automation, sports and exercise science, veterinary science, video and animation and welding and metal fabrication. An aviation maintenance program is housed at the Lewis A. Jackson Regional Airport.
The school also provides career-technical instruction in all seven school districts in Greene County via satellite programming. These include:
Beavercreek – marketing education, career-based intervention, Project Lead the Way engineering and Gateway to Engineering
Bellbrook-Sugarcreek – family and consumer science, Project Lead the Way engineering and biotechnology
Cedarville – agricultural and environmental systems
Fairborn – marketing education and family and consumer science
Greeneview – agricultural and environmental systems
Xenia – agricultural and environmental systems, biotechnology, digital media, and Project Lead the Way engineering.
Yellow Springs – engineering technology
“The impact of career-technical training is far-reaching,” said Deskins. “Whether classes are offered through the Career Center or through our partner school districts, they give students a chance to experience hands-on learning with an eye towards helping them make better decisions regarding career pathways as they move through high school and beyond. We are seeing more partnerships forming between the career center and these districts including adding offerings at the middle school level.” The Career Center also plans to add career exploration opportunities at the elementary levels so that all students in Greene County have a chance to explore various career pathways.
In addition to successful high school programs, the center also trains adults through a peace officer basic training academy, corrections officer instruction and customized classes for law enforcement professionals. The peace officer basic training academy is fully-accredited and produces certified officers who test to become police officers, sheriff’s deputies, work in colleges and universities, health care facilities and park districts.