PAGE A10, KEIZERTIMES, MARCH 20, 2015 Lee, Honey give update on CTEC at luncheon By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes John Honey knows from fi rsthand experience how hav- ing a college degree doesn’t guarantee anything. After all, the former Mc- Nary High School principal’s son went to college after high school and earned a degree. His next stop: the basement at mom and dad’s house. “College doesn’t guarantee you the jobs it did 25 years ago,” Honey said at a Keizer Chamber of Commerce lun- cheon last week at McNary Restaurant. “It guarantees you a lot of money to pay back.” Honey is helping to set up the Career Technical Educa- tion Center, a public-private partnership between Salem- Keizer Public Schools and Mountain West Investment. Honey will be CTEC prin- cipal when the school opens on Portland Road in Salem in the coming fall. He is work- ing alongside Chuck Lee, the Salem-Keizer School Board member who is president of the Mountain West Career Technical Institute on Ferry Street in Salem. Lee and Honey have the shared vision of exposing stu- dents to career and technical education. Lee said Larry To- karski, president of Mountain West Investment Corporation, approached him about a year ago. “He knew what kids need- ed to get a job,” Lee said. “He watched kids graduate, get good paying jobs and asked why we couldn’t do that for more kids. He told me he was starting CTEC. We’re been developing this public-private partnership with the school district since then. It’s about preparing students for high- skill, high-wage jobs. This is different than the shop classes we had in high school. This is about exposure to career pathways and technical skills.” Lee said the top jobs avail- able currently are for welders, plumbers, mechanics, machin- ists and fi refi ghters. “Mountain West has pledged the facility and will do the equipment,” said Lee, who confi rmed to the Keiz- ertimes last week he’s running for a third term on the school board. “People in the business community are excited; the main challenge they have is getting a talented workforce. Hopefully they can attract other businesses to our com- munity. “There’s nothing wrong with a college degree,” he added. “But not every kid is wired for college.” Next year’s juniors and seniors in the school dis- trict are eligible to apply for CTEC, which will begin with two programs: residential construction and commer- cial manufacturing. Students will use tools and equipment while earning credits towards high school diplomas as well as college certifi cates and de- grees. Students would remain enrolled in their regular high school, with transportation provided to and from the technical institute. Honey said about 30 stu- dents are enrolled so far. “I could fi ll the school tomorrow with grownups, because they get it,” Honey said. “Kids are starting to get it. We talked to 250 kids from South Salem and will take 75 of them on a fi eld trip. When you walk into the 10,000 square foot manufacturing shop, even empty it’s impres- sive. There will be opportuni- ties not available in our regular high schools.” Honey said students se- lected will possess strong work ethics. “CTEC can provide stu- dents the chance to earn good wages,” he said. Lee said the vision for such a program has been within the school district for years, but the $140 million in budget cuts a few years included CTE programs. “What Larry has done is a great gift to the community,” Lee said. “There’s no way as a school board we could fi nd the resources to put it together. There are things we’re able to pull from the private side. The Oregon Community Founda- tion invested $150,000, hop- ing this can be a model for the rest of the state. This is a test bed. “We’re trying to fi nd the resources to make it happen,” he added. “This is a $14 mil- lion project; we’ve invested about $7 million so far. I’m looking for contacts in in- dustry, looking for businesses to step forward. A few dollars invested will go a long way towards letting the Salem- Keizer School District invest in this and hopefully produce a quality work force.” Honey is predicting rap- id growth for the program, which will add studies includ- ing graphics design, aviation and drones in the next several years at the rate of two pro- grams a year. “We’ve been talking about KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy John Honey (left) and Chuck Lee confer during the March 10 Keizer Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon at McNary Restaurant on March 10. The two men are working together to establish the Career Technical Education Center. such a program for the 31 years I’ve been teaching,” Honey said. “We’ll be serving an initial 180 kids. Five years from now, we will have 1,200 kids. We’ll be supporting the economy, keeping productive workers here in the commu- nity.” Studio M at McNary launches podcasts McNary High School’s Studio M, which provides recording arts instruction for a number of students at the school, has launched a new podcast series. The Studio M Podcast fea- tures interviews with teachers and community partners talk- ing about their passions and experiences. The fi rst two episodes are already online and feature in- terviews with teacher Tracy Rhoades, a McNary teacher who runs the Celtic AWARE Club, and Eric A. Howald, associate editor of the Keiz- ertimes and advisor to the school’s Write Club. The AWARE Club focuses on education about human traffi cking. 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