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Celebrate Career and Technical Education Month with College of Lake County

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Jan 25, 2022

College of Lake County (CLC) is celebrating its dedication to career and technical education (CTE) this February in honor of CTE Month. CTE programs put students directly into high-skill, high-demand and high-wage occupations in the workplace following program completion. 

Student weldingCLC offers a wide variety of CTE programs to fit anyone’s interests and the list continues to grow with new programs including industrial technology. Learn more about each of these specialized skills at the college by watching the videos linked below:   

Last October, CLC celebrated Manufacturing Month with a panel discussing what employers want, a panel about Adult Education, and internship and career fair and a session on how to bridge the gap between cybersecurity and manufacturing roles. 

New Advanced Technology Center  

CLC is always working to improve opportunities for students and provide the most up-to-date education. The upcoming world-class Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is set to open for classes this fall and will be home to numerous CTE programs beginning with Welding and Fabrication and the brand-new Industrial Technology program. When it opens in Summer 2022, the ATC in Gurnee gives students cutting-edge space and equipment on which to learn.  

“The ATC will house state-of-the-art equipment to support programs designed for accelerated completion of coursework delivered by subject matter expert faculty that is aligned to industry needs,” said CLC President Dr. Lori Suddick.  

CLC is part of the 2025 Clean Tech Economy Coalition selected for Phase 1 of the Build Back Better Regional Challenge. The ATC will support workforce development in clean tech manufacturing.  

Students Excel in SkillsUSA Competitions 

CTE programs at CLC focus on providing students with knowledge and skills that make them employable thanks to curriculum input from current industry experts. Education isn’t limited to just the classroom, though, as many CTE programs have opportunities for students to participate in popular SkillsUSA competitions. 

SkillsUSA is a national career and technical student organization that hosts competitions in a variety of fields of interest. Students not only practice the skills they’ve learned in the classroom, but they also gain more by working in real-world situations. 

CLC students had a successful year in SkillsUSA competitions during the pandemic. Moises Mercado won the state championship this year in the Welding Sculptures competition and finished tenth place in the national competition out of 50 participants. Ben Otterbacher and Eduardo Zarinana teamed up to win the state competition and finished second nationally in Robotics Urban Search and Rescue: Explosive Ordnance Disposal competition. 

Dual Credit 

CTE programs already get students graduated and into their careers quickly, but dual credit opportunities allow students to begin earning college credit in high school and graduate even faster. 

Students take classes either at their own high school or at the Lake County High Schools Technology Campus in Grayslake. High school students enrolled in dual credit courses are officially registered at CLC and earn both high school credit and college credit for successful completion of approved courses. 

CLC is hosting an Engineering Night Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. outside of Willow Café. The college is also hosting Lake County Maker Faire April 9. 

About College of Lake County

College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.