Del Mar College teamed up with the Craft Training Center Friday to host a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Showcase Fair, “Exploring Career Options Today for Tomorrow’s Workforce,” at the Calallen High School Gymnasium. The event was put on as a means of allowing students to explore their futures today.

More than 1,800 seventh through eleventh graders from 10 independent school districts, including Agua Dulce, Alice, Banquete, Calallen, Mathis, Odem, Orange Grove, Robstown, Sinton and Tuloso-Midway attended the exploration fair.

“We’re held this event because industrial and educational leaders have indicated their needs to address future employment demands in such fields as process technology, welding, healthcare, construction, transportation, instrumentation, drafting and other highly technical areas,” says Leonard Rivera, PhD and director of DMC’s Off-Campus Programs.

“The CTE Showcase Fair provided students key information about the educational and industrial credentials required for specific fields as well as the projected employment openings and wage or salary levels among the career paths highlighted,” he adds.

Among the 25 fields students explored were Architecture and Drafting; Automotive Technology; Aviation Technology; Building Maintenance; Cosmetology; Court Reporting; Dental Assisting and Hygiene; Diesel Technology; Emergency Medical Technician; Fire Science; and Geospatial Information Systems.

Some demonstrations by DMC representatives that career fair participants saw and got some hands-on experience were provided by Respiratory Therapy students and faculty showing how to establish a breathing airway by intubation, Welding Technology faculty demonstrating welding processes using a simulator, Nurse Education faculty showing care for a newborn baby using the latest teaching aides and robotic technology and Geospatial Information Systems faculty demonstrating Unmanned Aircraft Systems or Drone Technology for surveying and capturing data, among others.

“The earlier we can expose students to career options, the more likely they will pursue a track while still in high school or immediately following graduation,” Rivera says. The Annual median incomes of individuals earning a college certificate or an associates degree range between $35,120 and $58,240.

“Those figures are significant,” notes Rivera. “They further highlight the importance of an education beyond high school and the small investment of time it takes to learn and earn.”