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Archive for the ‘College and Career Ready’ Category

STEM Occupations

Monday, May 5th, 2014

As per the recent message in this publication (“STEM 101,” April 2014), there is no universally agreed-upon definition of STEM. For the purposes of this month’s highlight, however, we’re focusing on occupations identified as STEM by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). BLS looked at occupations in six broad groups from the Standard Occupational Classification Manual: 1) Management; 2) Computer and Mathematics; 3) Architecture and Engineering; 4) Life, Physical, and Social Sciences; 5) Education, Training, and Library; and 6) Sales and Related. (Though Healthcare occupations are commonly included in STEM, BLS offers a separate analysis of that sector, to be shared in a later edition of this newsletter.) From the full list of 100 STEM occupations* in these groups, here are the top three occupations projected to have the most job openings nationally 2012-2022:







*See Table 1 in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly – with source cited as “2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System, SOC Policy Committee recommendation to the Office of Management and Budget. Healthcare occupations are not included.” Source of Utah data in these tables is the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

In the following table are three occupations from the BLS list that you can typically enter with less than a Bachelor’s degree, and that will grow much faster than average through 2022 (a percent of current employment; average growth rate across all occupations is 11 percent):








You will notice that “Computer User Support Specialists” appears on both lists. The fact that this is an occupation that employs large numbers of workers, and that it is growing at almost twice the average rate, bodes well for students prepared for entry.  For comparison: twenty percent of the 658,500 Computer User Support Specialists is 131,700 – significantly more than twenty percent of the 169,900 (33,980) Web Developers.

In addition to the technical skills foundation required in STEM occupations, workers must also have critical and creative thinking skills, and strong communication skills – technical writing, public speaking, and interpersonal communication. You can start developing technical, thinking, and communication skills while still in high school. Whether your career interests lead to a STEM career, or any other, a high school program of study that includes participation in a CTE Pathway of interest to you will help you succeed.

Wade Titus: Future Biomedical Engineer

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Wade Titus, a senior at Roy High School in Weber School District, participated in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Internship at JD Machine in Ogden, Utah where he became fascinated with the precision machining and fabrication of component parts. JD Machine is a world-class manufacturer of high value machined parts, sheet metal components and complex assemblies—utilizing the most advanced manufacturing technologies and equipment. Wade’s career goal is to become a successful biomedical engineer. This CTE Internship has assisted Wade in becoming college and career ready and he is now one-step closer to achieving his career goal. Wade tells about his experience at JD Machine.

“The great beast of what has become the world trade market has boomed because of what happens in these amazing shops. There are lathes and mills taking off thousandths of an inch, slowly shaping a product that you will be using tomorrow. Things as simple as a pen are machined by 2 ton machines that are more precise than a practiced brain surgeon in their operations. I am glad that during my last semester of school I decided to participate in a CTE Internship and to be involved in this importantly beautiful and precise industry. I am working in the delivery room of the future!

“Computers, airplanes, cars, phones, x-rays, desk chairs, stoves, microwaves, couches, houses, buildings, tools, surgical knives, missiles, tanks, and guns. Everything is machined. Precision products made by hulking masses of metal, intricately moving and scooping away material. Spindles and saws work without stop, humming and buzzing, slowly etching out the components to products we use every day in our lives. The machine shop is the delivery room of the future. Its mills and lathes transform crude blocks and bars into immaculate works of art. Each created so precisely a hairs difference could disqualify it from duty. In essence, the machinist is the creator of all that is and will be, operating the machines that create futures and innovates this world for the betterment of humans. Every measurement must be right. Every rhythmic pass of the endmill calculated to exactness.

“As I have worked with JD Machine I have begun to learn the basics of this great art that runs the world. I never noticed how many things get machined, or have a machined component part in them. Yet, without this seemingly miniscule, pathetic piece, the whole object would be rendered useless. It has truly amazed me what manufacturing has become. It’s not a factory with assembly line upon assembly line of mindless droning workers putting screws into holes, while making minimum wage. Instead, it’s precision machines operated by precision men and women learning and implementing lines of programs to make amazingly exact parts for our every day needs. This industry has truly sped up the progression of technology. These machines are capable of making thousands of clones of a part. These parts are made out of metals and plastics that most of us haven’t heard of like 410 stainless steel and aluminum-nickel-bronze. Working at JD Machine has made me question how anything was made before we had this great miracle of the modern machine shop.

Assemblers and fabricators assemble finished products and the parts that go into them. They use tools, machines, and their hands to make numerous products. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 the median annual wage for assemblers and fabricators was $28,580. *

* Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupations Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

Caid Lunt: Preparing for College and Career

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Caid Lunt, a junior at Weber High School, has a career goal to work in the Information Technology industry—digital media/multimedia. Caid recently participated in a CTE Internship at Weber State University in the Multimedia Services department where he developed his skills in graphics and animation. Through this internship experience Caid is preparing for college and career!

“My CTE Internship experience in the Multimedia Services department at Weber State University has been a great learning and eye-opening experience. I have been able to learn and enhance my skills towards narrowing down career options. My talents in graphics have been greatly improved. I have been working with [the Multimedia Services department] to master the program of Adobe After Effects, as well as other Adobe products to develop a greater knowledge, and capability for being able to design motion graphics and animation. This internship also focuses on other sides of media, such as video production. I have been given multiple opportunities with hands-on experience doing camera operating and editing. This has boosted my experience and capabilities to get a feel for what the real world of multimedia is like. This experience has taken my level of skill with multimedia to new levels.

“My main focus during this internship is graphics and creating animation. I have a real interest in this field, and I really enjoy it. Colby, my main mentor, has helped me reach limits I never thought possible with After Effects. He has taught me skills, as well as introduced me to tutorials to increase my knowledge and ability to produce graphics. He has also taught me to push myself to try new things and learn new strategies for sparking creativity. Before this internship, I was barely able to use After Effects and now I am able to produce simple but intricate graphic designs.

“I am also learning more about the field of producing videos. Weber State University [produces] a wide variety of videos, so I have been able to learn to scrub though old and new types of footage to be used for campus projects. I am also getting experience with operating cameras, as well as devices, such as Phantom GoPro helicopters, and Glide-Cams. I am getting hands-on experience with what multimedia consists of on a daily basis and building my experience portfolio.

“This internship has helped me define my career path. I look forward to [participating in another] CTE Internship my senior year in the multimedia field. This internship has expanded my skill set and prepared me for my future career.”

Caid is involved in HOSA—Future Health Professionals—and recently competed in the HOSA State competition in the Public Service Announcement (PSA) event. His PSA highlighted child hunger prevention and featured the service project at Weber Weekend Food Packs—a program to help feed hungry kids on the weekends. His public service announcement took first place at the competition and can be viewed HERE.

Caid has been awarded an $80,000 scholarship to Westminster College where he will study Information Technology in the area of digital media/multimedia.

Work-Based Learning lets students see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. If you’re interested in participating in a CTE Internship talk to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your school.

Occupations in Broadcasting

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Broadcasting, or “mass communication,” consists of radio, television, satellite, webcasts and all sorts of evolving channels designed to reach people all over the world. Careers range from sports announcer to set designer to video editor and more. Filmmaking is a specialized aspect of broadcasting. Whether you view films in a theater, on TV, or via Netflix, filmmaking consists of three phases:

  1. Preproduction – preparatory phase during which scripts are written, financing is secured, cast and crew are hired, and locations are selected.
  2. Production – this phase includes everything related to filming, such as lighting and sound set ups, selection of camera angles, scene rehearsals, and recording of video and audio.
  3. Postproduction – film footage is edited, sound/visual effects are added, and audio tracks are mixed and then combined with film footage.

Actors, producers and directors are the most readily identified occupations associated with broadcasting and filmmaking, but the behind-the-scenes workers are equally important and numerous. This table includes information about a selected few.

Source: Utah Department of Workforce Services

You can get started in these occupations with a CTE Pathway. For example, check out Radio Broadcasting Technician, Television Broadcasting Technician, Digital Media, and Travel and Tourism. For more information on these occupations and others, visit UtahFutures, and check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

“After taking a CTE course, TV Broadcasting and Digital Media, I took interest in filming and editing short commercial clips for our school, which is what motivated me to look into the film production field. The CTE courses I have taken gave me an idea of what is expected for such a career. It also taught me how to work with various programs and to be able to adjust to the different technology. Without taking these CTE courses I probably would not have discovered my new interests in digital media, which motivated me to choose the career and degree I now strive for. . .The CTE courses I took opened new opportunities for me and has broadened my horizon in ways I could have never expected.” says Kristine Bucasas, 2013 graduate of Wasatch High School, CTE Scholarship recipient, and future film producer/editor.

Sage Thompson: CTE Intern at Farr West Animal Hospital

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Sage Thompson, a senior at Fremont High School in Weber School District, wants to become a doctor of veterinarian medicine. To learn more about this career she participated in a CTE Internship at Farr West Animal Hospital, where she assisted Dr. Bailey with the animals in the hospital. “Seeing Dr. Bailey work on animals and figure out what is wrong with them, and [determine] what is the best way for that animal to get better, has helped me to understand what I want to do with my life. I think now I want to work with more small animals rather than large animals,” says Sage.

At Fremont High School, Sage is taking the Veterinarian Assistant class where she is exploring different avenues of the veterinary profession. In the class she has learned the anatomy, physiology, chemistry, dentistry, health, and disease of animals. Along with learning laboratory procedures, she has also developed skills in the areas of surgical assisting, bandaging, wound care, oral care, and general nursing care of animals.

Sage describes her experience at Farr West Animal Hospital, “I’ve learned so much about what vets do on a daily bases. I love being able to help take care of animals and helping them feel better. Going to the clinic in scrubs, [professionally dressed like] the vet techs and the vet, makes me feel so much closer to my goal of becoming a doctor of veterinarian medicine. Knowing that after many years of school I can go to work doing something I love and also knowing that I can help animals become healthy again is a great feeling. With being in the clinic for a few months now I have learned many great things I need to know about becoming a vet.”

As part of the CTE Internship at Farr West Animal Hospital, Sage has had the opportunity use the skills she developed in the Veterinarian Assistant class at Fremont High School. “I love being able to understand what the vet techs and vet are talking about. Knowing all the terms for being a vet makes it so much easier to intern in a vet clinic.”

CTE Internships provide on-the-job training opportunities that are directly related to a career goal and course of study identified through a College and Career Plan. This Work-Based Learning experience is designed to bridge the gap between school and work. If you’re interested in participating in a CTE Internship talk to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your school.

My CTE Internship Experience at Whiteclouds

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

By Josh Proulx, senior at Bonneville High School, Weber School District

Throughout my high school education, I have not participated in anything as life changing as the [Work-Based Learning] CTE Internship. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do for my senior internship, but there were so many options—Smith Optics, Body Tune, Fresenius, UDOT, and the list goes on. At first, Smith Optics was high on my list, but then Mr. Meyer (Work-Based Learning Coordinator) called me one day asking if I wanted to checkout a brand new 3D design company called Whiteclouds. I was thrilled to hear of this as a possible outlook for my internship. Mr. Meyer and I set up a date to visit, but we had no idea what was in store. When I walked in the front door and into the showroom, I was blown away. Complex enigmatic mathematical objects surrounded by multicolored skulls upon intricate busts of video game characters and Steampunk creatures. I was absolutely perplexed by the grandeur of the space! At that very moment, I knew that this was the place.

A few days later I was formally listed as an Intern at Whiteclouds. My first day was not what I had anticipated. I arrived at 9:00 a.m. and was tasked with designing two parts. I reengineered both parts in 2 hours and showed them to my mentor, Jess. She was surprised with my capabilities and was happy to give me another assignment of equal or greater difficulty the following session. My very first product project was to reengineer another part. This part was much more difficult and complex. Once I finished with this product, I was informed that my part would be sold on the Whiteclouds website! Upon hearing this news Jess announced that I would be in charge of designing a series of Steampunk parts for Comic Con! Within a week of working at Whiteclouds I was given a product line of my own. My imagination ran free and I wrote down a list of items I could create. For inspiration, Jess introduced me to a website name “Thingiverse.” This website had so many gadgets and gizmos it was incomprehensible. I frequently visit this site now to find inspiration for my designs.

One of my favorite days was the day Jerry Ropelato, CEO of Whiteclouds, came in to establish a design methodology/design process. I contributed to the best of my ability and impressed Mr. Ropelato with a series of design process options. My background in engineering played a major role in my contributions to the methodology. Once we decided upon our structure and labels of each section the Whiteclouds Methodology was established. Mr. Meyer could not have found a better place for me to intern.

I have had an unbelievable time at Whiteclouds and can’t wait to go to Comic Con to show off our capabilities. If my fate keeps me in Utah, I hope to return to Whiteclouds with another perspective to 3D Printing, Prosthetic Development.

Related story:
Utah company wants to bring 3D printing to the masses

Work-Based Learning lets students see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. If you’re interested in participating in a CTE Internship talk to the Work-Based Learning Coordinator at your school.

Real Estate Occupations – Supporting Buyers and Sellers of Homes

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

This month we highlight eight occupations that are key to the buying and selling of homes. Employed to ensure the successful transfer of property are workers in:

Home inspection and repair
Home loan and insurance
Home marketing and sales
Real estate appraisal and law
(Links take you to information about the CTE Pathways that can help you develop relevant skills.)

Successful workers in these occupations are organized, detail-oriented, and must be able to communicate effectively with other professionals and with their clients. As with most occupations, on-the-job training (OJT) and experience, and additional education, give workers an advantage in developing their skills and expertise. Browse UtahFutures for detailed occupational information.

*Source: Utah Department of Workforce Services, Occupation Information Data Viewer. Note that this is occupational information, not information for the occupation within any specific industry. An article in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly offers a national perspective of these occupations as well as a list of associations and other sources that may be contacted for additional information.

Jamie Vargas Rocks School Counseling at JATC and Beyond

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

There are about 700 students who take advantage of the Career and Technical Education programs at Jordan Applied Technology Center each year. As part of the application process, students must demonstrate that they have the basic competencies needed to succeed in the programs to which they apply. Counselor Jamie Vargas has taken a keen interest in assuring that the most relevant competencies are being assessed, that the instruments being used meet high standards of quality, and that testing protocols are strictly followed. In addition, he closely monitors data to identify potential issues, e.g., appropriate gender and ethnic balances, and meaningful differences between students who are accepted and those who are not. In other words, Jamie Vargas is working diligently to keep his finger on the pulse of the student body to gauge health and wellness, and following through with policy and other changes as indicated.

Jamie Vargas also brought leadership to the development and implementation of the College and Career Ready Student Portfolio. A web-based guide outlines the core and supplemental requirements that students complete in order to demonstrate competencies in four areas: (1) Leadership; (2) Program Competency; (3) Career Readiness; and (4) College Readiness. An online guide with links takes students to support information, forms, and other documents. In addition, students can track their progress using a printed Student Portfolio Tracking Sheet. Vargas has generously shared both the philosophical underpinnings and the practical mechanics of the Portfolio. It is becoming a popular and much-valued tool for students, parents, and counselors in Utah and beyond.

Granite Technical Institute – Career Academies, Skilled Trades, High Tech, and More

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Just one step into Granite Technical Institute (GTI) and the high energy of students and staff is palpable. Everyone seems to be going somewhere, and they’re determined to be there in record time. Julie Bagley, Counselor, Work-Based Learning Specialist, and Health Science Advisor, attributes this to the fact that students have gone the extra mile to be here, and they have well-defined goals for what they will accomplish. There are 2,400 students who attend GTI, described as an “extension” of their home high schools as they list GTI courses right along with the courses taught within their own walls. GTI students take advantage of the infrastructure – from transportation and administration to career centers and highly qualified teachers – in order to pursue their career interests.

Julie Bagley describes a number of programs designed to inform the community and potential students of the opportunities available at Granite Technical Institute. For example, a recent Open House was expected to draw 1,500-2,000 attendees. This is a chance for programs to show off, and that often means “hands-on” experiences such as dissections, robotics competitions, the printing of T-shirts, and food preparation.

A program that enables ninth grade students to participate in GTI is enrollment in a 90-minute dual credit course – either English/Physics or English/BioAg. Students apply for this program, and must meet certain qualifications in order to make it a part of their individual College and Career Plan. Having participated in the ninth grade further empowers these students to take advantage of GTI opportunities as they plan the remainder of their high school experience.

The Ambassadors are fundamental to promoting GTI to their peers as well as to the community at large. Students must apply to be Ambassadors. They must have a 3.0 GPA and CPA (citizenship), and must be a student at the GTI for the full year. Applicants submit their transcripts and an essay on why they would like to be a GTI Ambassador. Ambassadors are involved in promotional events in the community and at both junior highs and high schools throughout the year. They help provide an authentic student-to-student link to GTI programs.

Julie Bagley herself is a walking advertisement of what makes GTI great. She practically oozes with enthusiasm about the students she serves, the opportunities GTI offers, and all the people – teachers, counselors, administrators and others at the school, district and state – who make Career and Technical Education an attractive and valuable choice for students.

U.S. Occupational Projections for 2012-2022

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

It takes intense analysis of a vast amount of information, but every other year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes occupational projections for successive 10-year periods of time. BLS shares their view of how employment is expected to change between 2012 and 2022 in the most recent edition of the Occupational Outlook Quarterly. Highlighted below are lists featuring “top ten” occupations by education level, based on projected job openings. Be aware that the education level reflects assignments made by job analysts based on what is minimally required to enter an occupation. For any occupation of high interest, you should gather information to help you get the big picture –e.g., related training and experience often needed in addition to education in order to get that first job and to advance, earnings information, as well as factors that help you see how the occupation matches your interests, values and other personal characteristics.

Top Ten Occupations by Education Level Based on Projected Job Openings 2012-2022 (Linked to Page for Related CTE Area of Study

High School Diploma
Customer Service Representative
Office Clerk
Secretaries/Admin Assistant
Childcare Worker
Supervisor of Office Workers
Sales Representatives
Maintenance & Repair Worker
Bookkeeping Clerk
Supervisor of Food Prep Workers

Associate Degree or Postsecondary Non-Degree
Registered Nurse
Nursing Assistant
Truck Driver
Licensed Practical Nurse
Medical Assistant
Preschool Teacher
Dental Assistant
HVAC Mechanic/Installer

Bachelor’s Degree
General Operations Manager
Elementary School Teachers
Management Analysts
Software Developer
Middle School Teacher
Computer Systems Analyst
Market Research Analyst
Construction Manager
Health Services Manager