Franklin County Public Schools recently rolled out a video done by students about the Career and Technical Education programs at Franklin County High School. The video was well-done and illustrates not only what the students do as part of the program, but also illustrates the need for new space and equipment.
The seven-minute video illustrates what could be, as well as what other schools have available to them. The CTE programs are housed in a building known as West Campus that was once an apparel factory, across the street from the high school. Because of the limited space, the number of students who can participate in these classes is limited. The programs are overcrowded and only serve 42% of students who request a CTE class. In the video, footage of Blacksburg, Edison and Auburn high schools are shown. Yet, Franklin County is twice the size of Blacksburg with 2,000 students, compared to Blacksburg’s 1,160. Meanwhile, Auburn only has 379 students.
The video even looked at the future of skilled labor in the Franklin County area and the growing need for skilled workers who would benefit from the CTE programs.Programs such as robotics and trades are more in demand than ever as technology constantly evolves.
Apart from the students’ point of view, the video included an interview with a a CTE instructor and a local business owner of a heating and air conditioning company. The business owner talked about the importance of investing in students to create opportunities for them to stay local and not have to leave Franklin County to find employment elsewhere or continue their education so they can find employment.
Kudos to the students who put together a well-filmed, well-thought out plea for officials to sit up and take notice. Many of the supervisors candidates’ platforms included a promise to look at renovating or expanding space for the CTE programs, something that has been at a standstill for a while now. The video ends with a list of county supervisors and school board members and a request to for those who watched the video to contact their local officials if they feel students “deserve” a better CTE.