CANFIELD, Ohio — Considering decreased high school enrollment across the county, enrollment at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center is “surprisingly good,” says Jessica Cene, marketing and job placement coordinator.
The career and technical school hosted the first session of its two-day open house Thursday, and Cene says the administration is “really happy” with the turnout. In a typical year, the open house draws anywhere from 600 to 900 people. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to change things a bit this time around and opted for a controlled event with attendees scheduling sessions.
Attendees can choose up to six sessions, with each program lab offering sessions, Cene says. On Thursday, MCCTC saw nearly 200 families attend the high school portion and another 150 families for the Valley STEM Me 2 Academy.
The open house continues today with a special day session that runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the high school portion. Individuals can visit MahoningCTC.com to register for the open house.
Currently, enrollment among its programs are “right where they should be,” she says. Some of the more popular labs on Thursday were cosmetology, aviation maintenance, allied health and pre-nursing, software engineering and welding. For allied health/pre-nursing and welding, MCCTC has seen those programs fill up more quickly in recent years.
With increased demand for phlebotomists, nurses, state-tested nursing assistants and other health care workers, “now more than ever, the younger generation wants to get out and help,” she says. Allied health/pre-nursing has two instructors and accepts 50 students each year.
“That’s the only program we enroll that many,” she says. “It’s always one of our bigger numbers because of the demand every year.”
Welding numbers are also “off the charts” as spots fill up quickly, she notes.
“We get phone calls every day from companies that are looking for students right now,” she says. “They’re great paying jobs, they can stay local and make a good wage out of high school with no debt.”
Some students from the MCCTC culinary program are already working in local restaurants while they attend school, she says. Some go on to culinary institutions like Sullivan University in Kentucky for additional training, she says.
The administration is hopeful they will be able to reopen the program’s on-site bistro to public diners, which has been closed because of the pandemic.
“That’s something we’ve really missed,” she says. “They’re able to run a kitchen just like any restaurant around here.”
The Valley STEM program is in its fifth year and is benefiting from a good reputation in the county, she says.
“We’re double where we were this time last year with students,” she says. “People know we’re here and they know there’s limited spots.”
Typically by the end of March or beginning of April, a majority of the programs at MCCTC will have a waiting list. Cene advises any families interested in enrolling their students to either register for the open house or scheduled a private tour soon by calling 330 729 4000.
“Every single one of our programs minus, I’d say, three were on a waiting list last year,” she says.
Pictured: Attending Thursday’s open house at MCCTC were Canfield ninth graders Gio Cotto, Ethan Knauf and Carson Nagy.