Craven County 8th graders plan ahead with first CTE Expo

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — In Craven County, a school district expo is helping students plan ahead.

The expo took place at New Bern’s Convention Center. It offered 8th grade students the chance to learn about “career and technical education” pathways offered across the east.

“It is helping me prepare for what I want to do in life as when I get older,” said an West Craven Middle school student.

That was the goal kept in mind today at Craven County Schools first career and technical education expo.

“it’s extremely important for our students to see a clear pathway,” said Chris Bailey, career and technical education director for Craven County schools. “When they start taking our courses, they’ll see some sort of profitable career that they can obtain after high school or some post-secondary education.”

The C.T.E. community came out to showcase what their careers have to offer giving 8th grade students a taste of what they do. This gives students an idea of what courses they want to take in high school.

Hatteras Yachts was there promoting their business.

“I mean mechanical, electrical, carpentry is great. Carpentry is great,” said Mike Thorsby, training manager for Hatteras Yachts. “And we’ll teach you the basic orientation to doing that.”

Craven Community College was there as well, “To show everyone what we have available and that we can fill those skills gaps,” said Jim Millard, dean of Career Programs.

Craven County schools want students to leave with not only an excitement for a career and technical education, but also an interest in working here in eastern North Carolina.

“It’s extremely important for our students to stay here, just to develop the local economy,” said Bailey. “Maybe times our employers say they can find employees but they come in from out of the area. Here we’re growing our own workforce, in being able to develop the local economy from the ground up.”

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