JUNCTION CITY, Ore. -- Governor Kate Brown visited students at Junction City High School Tuesday to learn more about their career and technical education programs.
One of the highlights of the tour was the newly remodeled culinary arts classroom. This was thanks to the CTE Revitalization Grant from the Oregon Department of Education. Students said they are excited to learn in a kitchen that’s even nicer than some of theirs at home.
“Learning how to cook and even how to clean the kitchen properly afterwards is one thing that you really need to learn, and the ins and outs of a kitchen,” said Leah Eley, a senior at Junction City High School.
Eley said she wants to own her own restaurant someday, so a program like this really helps her feel ready to move forward with that dream. Brown said so many other students also realize their path through CTE programs, and because of that those programs drive up graduation rates.
“The students said to us, 'I didn't know what I wanted to do. I came into this class, I'm learning how to weld, and now I know what I want to do.' It gives them the encouragement and the motivation to graduate from high school,” Brown said.
Along with that, Brown said these kinds of programs help fill Oregon's need for skilled trade workers.
“I think it's really important that there be a level of coordination between the private sector and our high schools to make sure that the career and technical education programs are meeting employer’s needs,” Brown said.
Brown also got to tour the construction of a brand new building at Junction City High School. This building will house several new CTE programs, including a media center.