Last updated: April 22. 2014 11:09AM - 339 Views

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Dear Editor,

Tri-Rivers Career Center is focused on providing a well-trained workforce for Marion and its surrounding counties. As students participate in Career Tech labs, they acquire skills that can be applied to the workplace. Upon graduation, students have several options available to them; they can go on to college, enter an apprenticeship program or go into the workplace.

As a Career Development Specialist at Tri-Rivers, it is my responsibility to try to get young people thinking about careers at an early age. Elementary students in the KAPOW (Kids and the Power of Work) program, a business/school partnership, are taught lessons about the world of work by business volunteers from our community. At the middle school level, 1100 eighth grade students from Marion, Morrow and Union Counties, tour Tri-Rivers, MTC and OSUM each fall to get a glimpse of career choices and educational opportunities available to them at the local level. The Transitions program at Tri-Rivers, offers sophomore students a year’s experience rotating through several different career tech programs before choosing a career focus for the junior and senior years.

Is it important for students to have a career focus? Yes! Is it important for them to experience, first hand, a workplace environment? Yes! Tri-Rivers offers students the opportunity to obtain both. Young people are much more likely to stay in college if they have decided upon a career. The hands-on learning approach embedded in the Tri-Rivers curriculum helps students decide what career path to follow. Better to find out one’s career likes and dislikes at the high school level than to go off to college and try to figure it out.

Quality education comes at a cost. Tri-Rivers has worked hard to keep its costs low while continuing to provide quality. It is operating at the lowest salary costs of all the 49 career centers in the state. However, general costs have increased over the past several years, a result of inflation, as Tri-Rivers’ income has decreased. Tri-Rivers is asking the public to renew an existing operating levy (at no increase in cost to the taxpayer) and to pass a replacement levy at a minimal increase to taxpayers. Please join me in voting yes for these levies. Your affirmative vote will be an investment in our youth, our workforce and our community.

Alice Bailey, Marion

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