RALSTON, Neb. (KMTV) – Going to high school is a big step for most students. They are in a new building, with new teachers, and may not know what options they have for classes or how those classes can help them in their future careers.
“They come in and learn all sorts of skills that could spark their interest in a career in the skilled crafts,” says employment contact person Evan Schmeits.
“Masons, their job is a lot of fun, but at the same time quite difficult,” added Alexis Norman, seventh grade.
Ralston Middle School offers summer education about occupations. They partnered with the Nebraska Center for Workforce Development and Education and the Omaha Federation of Labor to help children learn about trade work hands-on.
“This year we have the plumbers, electricians, masons, steam fitters, sheet metal workers. Just a variety of professions that will be here for the next two weeks to be able to train our students. Lots of different opportunities for them to see different professions,” said Dr. Josh Wilken, career education coordinator for Ralston Public Schools.
Teachers in Ralston want lessons to open the minds of their students to other possibilities for the future.
“Some of these involve some algebra, like the electricians and plumbers entrance exams and the steam fitter entrance exam. There’s some benefit in reaching them earlier and getting it into their head that this is a viable option,” Schmeits said.
They also hope that these classes will make the female students feel empowered and know that a trade job is also something they can do.
“What we’ve seen from a lot of our female students is because they’re so detailed and they get so open and excited about these different opportunities in the profession, that they realize this could be for them. In high school courses, but after they graduate, it can become a career for them later on,” said Dr Wilken.
“I think it gives us options,” Norman added.
The vocational school teaches you a variety of skills that you can also use in your daily life.
“All of that can be applied to different areas of your life anyway, not just work. That’s super great for empowering women and just being independent,” says Madeline Greenfield, who works in trade.
Summer vocational training courses are free for Ralston School District students and run until the end of July.
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