Career and Technical education leaders gathering in Springfield

Eric Hill serves as the executive director of Skills USA Illinois, which oversees CTE in the state. (Photo courtesy: Flickr)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – See that valedictorian over there? Someday his furnace will give out, and he’ll have to call someone who took career and technical education courses as opposed to getting a four-year college degree.

“That furnace technician is not only a skilled trade, it’s a technical trade,” said Eric Hill, executive director of Skills USA Illinois, an organization overseeing CTE. “Everything is becoming computerized. The students are really developing critical skill sets, and that’s going to propel them into the future.

“Right now, some students coming into kindergarten, the job they will take someday doesn’t even exist right now. So how do we better prepare them? It’s career and technical education all the way.”

CTE teachers are meeting in Springfield.

A student officer in the group, Seth Daniels of Carbondale, has his eye on a nuclear engineering career, fueled by not only a degree, but by CTE and perhaps some time in the Navy.

Daniels says a classmate “is significantly more adept at using the 3-D modeling program and has a better intuition of how engineering works. He just has a better intuition of that than I do, and he is in a lower math class than I am.”

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected].


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