PERRYSBURG, OH (WTOL) - February is Career and Technical Education month, and Penta Career Center is encouraging students to consider what path they should take after graduation.
Skilled trade workers are in high demand. As the older workers retire, there aren't enough young workers to replace them.
"I think we've talked a lot to students about college, and that's the path to go. But these careers not only offer schooling, but pay for their schooling," said Rob Haas, construction teacher at Penta.
There has been a need for more hands-on workers for many years. It is now becoming an issue, and with the shortage there could be a rise in cost and delays.
Haas said he feels students are pushed to get a college degree instead of training for industrial jobs.
"This is actually a career builder. They could have a 30-year career in this where they have a pension plan, where they have healthcare, where they have everything we talk about that people need. They'll have it. It's just so stress free. They don't have to worry about trying to find that," said Haas.
Some students like that Penta provides them with real-world experiences.
"I feel that it's really important because it gives us a jump start to whatever field you want to go into. If it's not the field you want to go into, then it gives you that experience. Then you'll know whether that's something you want to do and you don't take courses that aren't going to benefit you," said Penta junior Harmony Hunt.
Penta allows for opportunities to get out in the work force. They have many opportunities to build their resume. With those, there's not chance for failure and I always have success behind me," said Elijah Kazan, a junior at Penta.
While these students took the course and like what Penta has to offer, some say their classmates at their member schools were hesitant to leave for Penta.
"A few of my classmates had the idea of doing it, but they didn't want to because they weren't sure if Penta was right for them. They had other plans as well, like going to college. I feel like this is the best route for me. I feel extremely lucky to have this opportunity to do things that I love and I'm actually excited to come to school and work toward this," said Penta junior Ethan Thornbury.
Penta is available for juniors and seniors in high school. However, the school also offers a Sophomore Exploratory that allows students to explore the career-technical fields.