CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Imagine receiving your certificate for cosmetology, ready to have your own chair at a salon at the age of 18, or learning a skilled trade like being an electrician. Even earning college credits before high school graduation. We spoke with students and staff at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center about the current state of enrollment.
The school has been around for almost 50 years, and we’re told enrollment is extremely high at the moment. They’ve even had to turn kids away. Students and staff say there are lots of reasons why.
Philomena and Elizabeth Cackovic are seniors at MCCTC and the only females in their electrician program. They’re twins with the same passion for the trades.
“Well, my dad is in the construction business. He was kinda pushing us to do it and I thought it was going to be, like, not fun. I thought it was going to be kinda boring but once I got into it, I was really excited for it,” Philomena said.
They say the learning environment is much different than your typical high school.
“At my home school, it was, like, kinda difficult for me because there was kinda, like, so much more stuff I had to learn. But here, everything is, like, easier for me and I have, like, good grades here and it’s just, like, changed my life completely,” Elizabeth said.
These girls are the lucky ones. The program they are in has a waitlist of at least 40 students from the area.
“Not only do we have a waiting list for electricity and cosmetology and welding, but now we have a waiting list for cyber security and we have waitlists for creative arts and design,” said Jessica Cene, MCCTC’s marketing director.
Cene says career tech schools have changed and now offer classes that go toward an associate’s degree.
“By the time you step foot on a college campus, you’re light years ahead of everybody else,” Cene said.
MCCTC Superintendent John Zehentbauer says many local businesses look to hire these highly skilled students, even prior to graduation.
“They’re looking at our juniors at the end of their junior year. They’re recruiting them to come and work into their companies and businesses,” he said.
Cene says they are full for this coming fall. However, things can change. Spots can open up. She encourages everyone interested to go take a tour of the facility to see if it will be a good fit.