JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Located on the West side of Jonesboro High School is the Northeast Arkansas area technical center.
A modern learning center designed to teach hirable skills to high school students who attend from a 25 mile radius of Jonesboro.
What do they offer? Plenty.
"It's really exciting to learn all this stuff. I think it's a really good career to have." J.D. Fisher told me. He's learning to be a machinist.
Lisa Trotter, who directs the center showed me the auto body shop. As students hand sanded a pickup bed behind her she told me why this program works. "The kids get to get in here in a very short time. Get out of the classroom and actually start working."
The Technical Center serves 13 schools from a 25 mile radius of Jonesboro. Kids are bussed in twice a day for a morning or afternoon session lasting 2 - 3 hours. Halley Dooley is from Harrisburg, Her thing, Horticulture.
"I don't like staying in a classroom all day. Everybody works together. It's not really a high school environment, at least not to me. Vo-Tech kind of helps you decide what you want to do when you go into college. A lot of these courses you don't have in High School so it helps you decide what you want to do."
With 11 programs to choose from there is something for everyone. From a state of the art machining program to weeding radishes or perhaps you lean more toward auto mechanics or body work. State of the art, all the way.
Participating in the AYES gives this school automobiles and car parts like this engine to take apart and put back together again. Including a Viper engine, how about we stick that in a Volkswagen?
Through the Health Science Technology programs students can study and take the CNA tests. Graduate and go right to work.
The programs are open to Sophomores thru Seniors.
Trotter, "It's an elective course for them. Counts as local credit as well as well as their graduation credits."
Your child have artistic talents? Drafting or perhaps Advertising and Graphic Design like Skills USA, Gold Medalist Ashley Schulze.
"It was something I wanted to do for the moment when I first started this class but I really do enjoy it and I think I might continue onto college."
And many kids do go onto college, but the training is real.
Robert Tucker is revamping the HVAC course. He says that he steers his kids toward further education but.
"If they are serious and they do well they can come out of here and get a job."
Trotter says these kids that finish these programs are ready for work.
"It's more relevant because it's hands on, real-world application here."