Cove High students double industry certifications year-over-year, ready students for the workforce
By WENDY SLEDD
Special to Leader-Press
Copperas Cove High School 2023 graduate Aiden Conover-Wilhite took full advantage of the opportunity to earn certifications during his high school career so he was ready to enter the workforce upon graduation. In the 2022-2023 school year, Wilhite earned certifications in EKG technician, phlebotomy technician, patient care technician, nurse aide, and clinical medical assistant. Wilhite is one of hundreds of students who earned Industry Based Certifications during the school year.
Copperas Cove High School Careers Technology Education Coordinator Sandra Perry says the school’s programs of study are aligned with local workforce development agencies and job opportunities specific to the area.
“We will continue to align our IBCs to our Programs of Study and what is relevant in the workforce industry,” Perry said. “Once students complete a program of study, they have developed the skills to be successful in their specific industry choices.”
CCHS more than doubled year-over-year its number IBCs earned by students in the 2022-2023 school year to more than 400. Ninety-one percent of CCHS students enrolled in a CTE course during the past school year. Comparatively, 23 percent of Texas high school students enrolled in a CTE course. Nearly half, 42.87 percent, of Copperas Cove Junior High students and 35.7 percent of S. C. Lee Junior High students enrolled in CTE courses in the 2022-2023 school year.
With trades courses including welding and construction and manufacturing seeing an uptick, health sciences courses experience the highest enrollment. Teacher Jeni Carbone Williams instructs student in CCHS’ Certified Pharmacy Technician Program.
“In this classroom training, students prepare to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam credentialed through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and recognized through the State Board of Pharmacy,” Carbone-Williams said. “One of the most rigorous courses in the health science pathway, we focus on creating a working knowledge of the top 200 medications, federal requirements, patient safety and quality assurance, order entry, and processing.”
Copperas Cove ISD’s new Career Technology Education facility opens in the 2023-2024 school year to students enrolled in construction and manufacturing trades and welding, allowing enrollment in both programs to increase.
“Learning hands-on applications in a high paying field seems to be a strong path to prepare for a future career in a skilled trade. Becoming certified allows me a greater chance at securing a job, allowing a strong start to my future, post high school,” said Agriculture Mechanics student Rafe Anderson. “My ultimate career goal is to have a career I enjoy. As a kid, I always had an interest in welding, and now I have the opportunity to explore that while still in high school.”