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Cincinnati Public Schools career and tech pathway program set to expand

Students standing on yellow scaffolding work on the unfinished roof of a wooden structure in a large open facility. Two people stand to the right observing, while another walks on the left carrying a wooden board.
Posted at 4:37 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 20:26:26-04

WCPO produced this report in conjunction with our news partner, the Cincinnati Herald, which originally appeared as an episode in the Herald's podcast. The Herald will have their full report available online later this week.

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Public Schools is in the process of expanding a program that aims to give more students access to various career pathways after high school graduation.

It's a program without which 2019 Woodward High School graduate Michael Hunter said he never would have landed on the path toward a career in construction management at the University of Cincinnati.

"The teachers there are super supportive," Hunter said. "They want you to succeed, and they want you to be the best person that you can."

The CPS Career and Technical Education program prepares graduates to pursue 11 major career fields and 20 specializations, according to the program's manager, Michael Turner. Thirteen of the district's 16 high schools offer the program.

"What our goal is is to provide opportunities so students can do what they want to do with their future," Turner told WCPO and its news partner, the Cincinnati Herald. "We’ll be bringing the other three high schools on board with some sort of career tech programming within the next two years."

One of those new specializations will be cybersecurity, Turner said, one of the leading sectors when it comes to entry-level salary.

"If they do that and get those credentials, once they graduate from high school, they'll be able to get hired and really earn in the $50- to $60- to $70,000 range in an entry-level cybersecurity position," he said.

For Hunter, the program put him on a path he sees himself following for the rest of his working life.

"Being in that program actually navigated me to this," he said. "I probably wouldn't have decided to go into this major if it wasn't for Woodward's construction program."