Saline To Host SWWC Trade School & Technical Vocation Open House


What will high school students do once they graduate from high school? Students and parents in the Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Lincoln, Manchester, and Milan school systems get a chance to explore a long series of technical and trade options for their futures during the South West Washtenaw Consortium Open House at Saline High School, November 30.

Students enrolled in the SWWC are bussed to and from their usual high schools to various school buildings during the day to complete their specialized courses. Most of the courses are taught in Saline High School, Rowe said. But some students do travel to other locations like Habitat for Humanity for the construction program, a health sciences program and engineering robotics program in Chelsea schools, and a graphics program in Dexter schools, Rowe added.

“The consortium was established in the late 1970s and has been around ever since. Five of those districts joined immediately and then Lincoln joined later. Approximately 750 students participate with us every year. There are 21 career technical programs in the consortium,” SWWC Executive Director Ryan Rowe said.

The open house will last from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free mac and cheese will be made available before the event starts, according to the schedule. Attendance will also be free for anyone interested in attending.

At 6 p.m., students will be able to interact at four different stations. From 6 p.m. to 6:45, attending students will take their photo in front of a green screen, which will show their primary field of interest; make food at the culinary station, receive articulated credit information and take a photo in front of the “SWWC Twitter Takeover Station” for the SWWC Twitter page.

Students will be able to see what they can learn and speak to potential employers – which range in business types and sizes from the Chelsea Lumber Company, to Lefty’s Cheesesteak, to Bill Bell Construction, to Ford – during the showcase, sponsored by the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce. Washtenaw Community College will also be sending a representative.

“We think it is truly valuable that even if [students] are not going into a trades program, having the experience of a SWWC class is a lot about lifelong learning,” Saline Area Schools Superintendent Steve Laatsch said. “I’ll give you an example: a student that is going to a four year school to be an engineer like Michigan, but they love to have the skill of going through auto-tech. All of those skills are valuable for life, even if they’re not going to a trade school. So we encourage every student to attend.”

From 6:45 to 7:30 p.m., students will be able to explore the explore various labs and classrooms and speak to representatives of companies that will be interested in hiring students who complete the course in the upcoming years. Different representatives will be giving individual speeches in each separate room from 7:00 p.m. to 7:10 p.m.

Image Credit: Saline Area Chamber Of Commerce.

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