Andre Villeneuve is a student in the Cheshire Career Center’s engineering program and, more recently, our intern. He’s a vintage video game system collector and aficionado, a lover of music and cats, and the proud owner of a light blue 1967 Ford Galaxie 500 two-door convertible.
Andre will graduate from Keene High School in the spring, and he hopes to go to college to pursue a career in engineering or occupational safety.
That’s where the Cheshire Career Center (CCC) comes in. As of five years ago, ninety-eight percent of public school districts offered career and technical education at the high school level. (National Center for Education Statistics) The CCC is our local program here in Keene, New Hampshire, but odds are there is a similar program in your community.
CCC offers twenty courses of study including, but not limited to, engineering, manufacturing, information technology, and business. As a small engineering firm in a small town, it made perfect sense for us to offer a work-based learning opportunity for a student pursuing a career in our industry.
We’ve all heard about the skills gap, the labor shortage, and the dire predictions related to both. Programs like CCC, offering career and technical education, are crucial for students who wonder if they can see themselves in a skills-based career like manufacturing or culinary arts. The opportunity to get hands on experience, both in an educational setting and, for some students, in a professional setting as an intern or job shadow, is an invaluable first step to launching a career they are passionate about.
At Lehnen Industrial Services, we are embracing this opportunity to encourage Andre, and young men and women like him, to explore our industry and help them find their place in it. If your company is able, I strongly recommend you give it a try with your local program. If your experience is similar to ours, you may have a hard time determining who is benefitting more, your company or the students you mentor.
*For more information on becoming a business partner in the work-based learning program at Cheshire Career Center, please contact Charles Hansel at email@example.com*