The recently completed automotive competition for high school students finished a month-long celebration of DACC career and technical education (CTE) programs, which prepare youth and adults for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill and high-demand careers.
CTE programs are extremely varied from cybersecurity to heating and air conditioning and provide career tracks that are practical and quickly obtainable. These careers require varying levels of education, including industry-recognized credentials, postsecondary certificates and two-year college degrees.
“CTE programs are among the best we offer at DACC,” said Dean Saundra Castillo of the Advanced Technologies Division. “There are more than 40 different career specialty areas.”
The February festivities were kicked off with a tour for area junior and senior high school students from the Las Cruces, Hatch and Gadsden school districts. Students toured CTE programs, were engaged by keynote speaker Tracy Bryan from the Bridge of Southern New Mexico and experienced how CTE programs can lead to excellent careers.
The new “Happy Smiles” dental program followed and provided free dental care for children in the community who could not afford dental services. The two-day event allowed dental hygiene and dental assisting students to provide care for those who were most in need.
Building Construction Technologies, which also builds shelters for the homeless at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope showed off their skills by constructing a structure from scratch at the recently completed Home and Garden Show held at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum.
“CTE is the key in preparing students for career readiness,” Chipper Moore, Department Director for Architecture and Construction Technologies said. “CTE equips students with critical technical and workplace skills and the ability to apply those skills in real world situations.”
During February, DACC students prepared for the SkillsUSA state competition and will compete in Automotive, Computer Technology and Programming, Electronics, HVAC-R and Plumbing.