CTECH Offers Trade Education in the Rochester Public Schools

This fall, the Career and Technical Education Center (CTECH) in the Heintz Center opens its doors for the fourth academic year.  Since its infancy in 2016, CTECH has given local juniors and seniors in the Rochester Public Schools and surrounding high schools the opportunity to learn more about and explore careers in various technical and vocational fields.
Located on the Rochester Technical Community College (RCTC) campus, the CTECH program offers classes in 10 career pathways:

  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Business
  • Computer Science and Information Technology (IT)
  • Construction
  • Engineering
  • Health and Biomedical Science
  • Hospitality
  • Manufacturing
  • Teaching as a Profession
Photo courtesy of Rochester Public SchoolsCTECH is a partnership between RCTC, Rochester Public Schools, Winona State University-Rochester, and industry partners in the community.  The City of Rochester’s sales tax revenue provides funding for the CTECH facility.  With class sizes capped at roughly 28 in a college setting, high school students are able to receive hands-on experience in their field of interest.  Many of the pathways include 1:1 mentorship, guest speakers, internship opportunities, and more.  The CTECH program is intended to help students identify what their passions are and explore a career before committing to post-high school education.  CTECH is designed to help students find the best path for them after high school – whether that be enrolling in a trade school, a four-year college, or other routes and opportunities.
Some Example Paths Include:
The Construction pathway begins with an “Introduction to Construction Trades” course that allows students to learn the fundamentals of home construction, blueprint reading, tool safety, and structures.  The more advanced classes such as “Construction Trades I” and “Construction Trades II” focus on the components of building and finishing a structure.  Students enrolled in the advanced courses have the opportunity to be paired with an industry professional, courtesy of a partnership with Rochester Area Builders.  
The Manufacturing pathway includes the “Machine Technology I” and “Machine Technology II” courses which first introduce students to machining before moving into specialized projects.  The “Welding Technology I” and “Welding Technology II” classes teach students how to weld and cut both steel and aluminum in a lab setting.
Rochester Area Builders is passionate about the future of the skilled trades industry in southeastern Minnesota (check out our Consider the Trades initiative).  Our community-focused organization is dedicated to advancing the building and trades industry – and that includes the next generation of workers.
CTECH’s Construction and Manufacturing programs are looking for industry partners like you to visit classes as a guest speaker, host jobsite visits, and offer mentorship programs.  If you are a business owner, employer, or contractor in the construction or manufacturing industries who wants to get involved in the Rochester MN area, contact John Eischen with the Rochester Area Builders at 507-282-7698 or Kari Sikkema with the Rochester Public Schools at 507-328-5780.

Photo courtesy of Rochester Public Schools