The Delaware Area Career Center recently hosted its first Career Tech Saturday and gave students in grades third through fifth a hands-on look at the school’s programs.
Lisa-Marie Reinhart, career readiness coordinator at the DACC, said the event came about because the Career Technical Planning Districts across Ohio, including the DACC, recently received money as the result of House Bill 110, which established funding to be used towards career awareness and exploration for students K-12. Reinhart said as a result of the funds, the school was able to offer the event for free.
“For quite a while we have been talking about connecting with students and parents at an earlier age,” Reinhart said. “This event seemed to be a great fit with DACC goals, while also aligning with a more career-focused approach in education.”
Reinhart said the DACC has hosted a summer camp experience for middle school students for many years, and this event was focused on third to fifth graders with the hope of “providing some earlier exposure to career areas and educational options.”
The event was held Saturday, April 23, and featured students taking part in one-hour sessions in either app development, automotive technology, construction or digital design.
“Career Tech Saturday was not intended as a marketing or recruitment event for future students but more of a career exploration experience to inspire students about possibilities for their future,” Reinhart said. “It was exciting to see students, who had no prior knowledge, using tools and equipment as part of the hands-on projects during the event. For some students, just walking into a new space such as our Automotive Technology Lab was an exciting, eye-opening experience.”
Reinhart said parents also joined in the sessions alongside the students, and for the majority of the parents, it was their first experience at the DACC.
“I spoke to several parents who were inquiring about DACC Adult Education programs,” Reinhart said. “DACC is a career readiness resource for both students as well as adults in our service area.”
Reinhart said she’s pleased with how the event turned out.
“We had strong support from our partner schools and had students in attendance from each local district,” Reinhart said. “Both students and parents seemed to really enjoy the morning. It was great to see the level of engagement as I passed through each session. Students and parents were working together with a hands-on project in each session.”
Reinhart said the DACC will “absolutely” do the event again in the future.
“We had very positive feedback from the event, and we hope to continue and even expand the program options in the future,” she said.
Delaware Area Career Center Construction Technology instructor Gene Scott helps a local student build an outdoor flower planter during Career Tech Saturday at the DACC.
Henry Shellenbarger, a senior in the DACC’s Automotive Technology program, shows a visiting student and parent an engine during Career Tech Saturday.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.