FCCTC offering new courses

As schools across the area are winding down for the school year, administrators and faculty at the Franklin County Career Technical Center are already busy preparing for some new courses that will be offered this fall.

Scott Wiginton, director of the FCCTC, said they will be making some changes that will hopefully enhance the students learning and appeal to an even wider range of students who are interested in career technical fields.

“There was a workforce interest survey sent out for Northwest Alabama that polled industries to see what they were in need of, which is a major thing we in the career technical field have to consider,” Wiginton said.

“The results of that survey showed that engineering and drafting were in the top 10 responses of careers or jobs that are needed in our area.

“We want to be proactive and respond to these types of needs so that we are providing a service to our local workforce and to our students by preparing our students for careers that are needed right here close to home.”

In response to the workforce survey and to other interests, the FCCTC will be offering a pre-engineering and drafting course as well as a cosmetology course when the new school year starts in August.

The courses will be offered thanks in part to a workforce grant school officials applied for and received from the state of Alabama that also helped provide essential equipment needed to teach the courses.

“We have gotten brand new computers, drafting tables, a high-tech 3D printer, and drafting software that will aid the students in the pre-engineering and drafting course,” he said.

Wiginton said funds were also donated by Sen. Roger Bedford and Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow through the Franklin County Community Development Commission and from Judge John Jolly to help with expenses.

Some fees for the courses will still apply, but thanks to this support, Wiginton said the classes are much more affordable.

Wiginton said Northwest-Shoals Community College will be able to offer dual enrollment college credit for the courses as well.

“Not only will this help our students broaden their interests and explore potential career options, but it will allow them to get ahead in their college careers through dual enrollment,” Wiginton said. “It really is a win, win.”

Wiginton said he believed it was important to stay current on the needs within the career technical field because of its growing importance in many industrial areas.

“We have taken every ninth grader in the school system and all the guidance counselors on an industry tour to some of the prominent industries in our county,” he said.

“The company officials showed them what all career fields they have to offer, what skills are needed for each career, and how many of the programs offered through the career tech center are important stepping stones to obtaining those types of skills.

“This was a great benefit to these students to see the opportunities they have right here at home if they receive the proper education or training.

“And some of these programs that we offer can give you enough training that students can leave high school with a certification and go straight to work.

“We just want to make sure we are doing all we can to prepare these students for life after high school and give them a bigger advantage when it’s time for them to step out into the real world.”

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