NEWTECH Skill Center: American Graduate Champions


and I like to market this
place as Flying Start, because not only are you
getting high school credit, you can get college credit, some of the programs, you
can go right into the field, you can graduate and
go right into the field without any college loans. – Newtech Skill
Center is one of 13 skill centers in the
state of Washington. And a skill center is
a consortium school that’s owned by
multiple districts, and our school here is owned
by 11 different districts and hosted by Spokane
Public Schools. We have 16 programs,
three satellites, one in Davenport,
Newport, and Colville. We have a variety of different
programs on the core campus, which is what we call this. We have 16 different programs. – What they try to
do is they try to emulate a job site, so
the students feel like, if they’re learning automotive, that they’re working
in an automotive shop. And so, what they try
to do, then, is to have it so that, when they
transfer into a real job, that they already
know what that’s like, already an in-job setting. And not only do they
learn skills as far
as in that program, but they also learn what they
call 21st century skills, so it’s resumes, how to
get a job, keep a job, kind of the job skills
that are generic. So, not only are they
learning specific skills, but they’re learning skills
that can transfer into whatever job setting
that they go into. – Almost all of our teachers
here in the building are prepared in industry, so they’ve all been in the
industries that they represent, as far as the curriculum
that they’re teaching. It’s really important
to have that experience when you’re coming
to work here, probably more so than
in some of the other basic high schools because,
at the skill center, we’re trying to get the kids to bridge to their next
step in their employability. – And it’s maintenance
and light repair. It gives them a window
into industries such as the automotive world,
transportation world, heavy equipment, trucking
industry, all of that. It gives them an insight and gets them moving
in a direction. – Currently at The
Falls, I’m working with, just getting, you
know, my pre stuff that I need to get done. So I’m getting my
English taken care of, and then I’m taking
a film class. The program sort of
helped me figure out what I really wanted
to do, which is, you know, video production, and kind of more
towards cinematography, so that’s why I’m taking that
film class as just sort of a, sort of like a foundation. I don’t think I
would’ve strived to really go out to
college after Newtech. I didn’t really have
very many opportunities, but with Newtech, you know, Scott has given me
the opportunity to potentially work at
KXLY, which is amazing. So it’s night and
day, pretty much. – One of the things
that we’re trying to do is to really communicate
more and more with the high schools, and getting the word out about what our options are here. We find that there’s a lot
of misunderstandings about, or myths about what
happens in a skill center, and we want students to know what their options really are, so there’s lots of
flexibility in their choices. – You got, like,
the letter that was connected from my
home school, you know, just had a mark, you know,
“We’re inviting you to be here, “to the skill center.” And my mom was looking,
and we didn’t really think much about
it, just “Ugh.” And then I kinda started wanting to become a
state trooper and stuff, and wanted to start doing that, so we came to orientation, and my brother and
my sister came, and she was gonna
do the nursing, and my brother’s in
the culinary right now. And so, we were gonna do that, and I wasn’t doing anything, and so I was here, but
everyone was asking, “What are you gonna do?” And then we found out
that the criminal justice is gonna be a two year program. And so, I was just
like, “Oh yeah, “I’m totally gonna do that.” – We have a huge, huge
shortage in this country for skilled workers,
and the skill centers help to fill that void
with that pipeline. And not all of our students, once they go through
our programs, decide I’m gonna go
directly out to work. Most all of them
are going to need some more
post-secondary training. They’re going to need
another certificate, or associate’s degree, or some
of them a bachelor’s degree, depending on their
interest areas. But what we provide for them is a step ahead of their peers, a way to experience what
they’re going to be doing, prior to going to school for
a couple years and finding out this isn’t what I want. We also provide students with that hands-on, applied,
real world piece that a lot of
students really want, and if they don’t have that
in their sending schools, then they wanna be able to know how is this all
gonna work together with what I’m doing now.

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