HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – One Valley Tech School is seeing increasing interest from local high school students.
The Massanutten Technical Center (MTC) generated the most interest from high school students for the 2021-2022 school year. Over 1,100 students have applied to take one of MTC’s 21 programs.
âStudents really see how successful our school is and how successful they can be by getting a certificate of completion, license or some sort of approval while they are here at MTC,â Principal Kevin Hutton said. .
The school is seeing growth in human services and cosmetology programs, according to Hutton. He says the Carpentry and Trades programs always have solid numbers year over year.
With a shortage of skilled workers, Hutton says they’re trying to help fill that need.
âThey need people to do these jobs, so they contact us to try to get these people, so I think a lot of students see, again, if [they] go to MTC, they can even make that connection with the companies for me, âHutton said.
But growing interest creates more challenges. Hutton says 18 of the 21 TCM programs are considered unsafe by the state’s Department of Education, which limits the number of students in each class.
“Are you hiring additional staff to meet the demands of the dangerous program?” But if you do that, “Hutton said,” where is the space and how are you going to turn a lab into something else? “
He says there’s something else to think about: will MTC become a career exploration school …
“Or does it become a specialized training center where it can be a rigorous application process that students will have to start completing to be accepted here?” There are a lot of good questions, âHutton said. “It’s like you have these problems, but they are big problems to have because these problems all revolve around the fact that there are so many students who are interested in TCM.”
For the next fall semester, MTC will strive to attract as many applicants as possible into the classroom, but Hutton said some students will be asked to wait a year, which he says he has already had to do in the past.
Over the next year, Hutton says stakeholders will work together to answer tough questions like what becomes of MTC? Next, stakeholders will create a strategic plan that Hutton says will likely be implemented in 2023.
For more information on MTC, click here.
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