Career Opportunities Available to Students are Highlighted in 15th Annual Career and Technology Education Awards Ceremony

April 3, 2000
Forty students enrolled in a range of career-focused programs in Montgomery County Public Schools' (MCPS) Career and Technology Education Program will be honored for their achievements at an awards ceremony on April 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg.

Each winning student will receive a $250 award sponsored by a local business that has made a commitment to support outstanding students preparing to enter the work force. For the second year, one student will receive a $5,000 Technology Education Opportunities Scholarship, made possible by a donation from Douglas Schiffman, president of Bethesda-based Nine Lives Computer Company and the Educational Foundation of MCPS.

"These awards underscore the link between secondary career and technology education and success in the work place," said Superintendent Jerry D. Weast. "Many of our students, particularly those in computer technology programs, are prepared for well-paying jobs in business and industry right out of high school. This is good for the students, and good for the economy of Montgomery County."

The awards are designed to recognize and encourage students who exhibit outstanding technical, academic, and workplace skills and a commitment to pursuing careers in such fields as biotechnology, electronics, carpentry, medicine, computer maintenance and repair, and professional restaurant management.

"Career-focused education provides wonderful opportunities for our students, said Barry Burke, director of the Division of Career and Technology Education. "All of the students receiving awards are high achievers and many of them have not only done well in the classroom, they have made significant contributions to their communities. Several of these young people have overcome adversity to attain their goals."

Career and Technology Education courses are available in all high schools throughout the school system and in the Thomas Edison High School of Technology. Study opportunities are divided into five career clusters that reflect local, state and regional economic development and industry profiles. These career clusters provide a framework for activities that include developing opportunities for career awareness, linking education and business initiatives, and linking classroom and internships as work-based learning.

"The richness of our career and technology programs is due in large part to internships provided by local businesses and to feedback that we receive from the business community that helps us to tailor our programs to the needs both of our students and the workplace," said Burke.

Career clusters include arts, media, and communications; business management and finance; the fields of engineering, manufacturing, construction, transportation, and technology; health, bioscience, environmental and natural resource systems; and the areas of consumer hospitality, tourism, and human resources.

NOTE: Reporters are invited to attend the awards ceremony from 7 8:30 p.m. at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, 100 Bureau Drive in Gaithersburg. To schedule interviews with individual students or sponsors from your area, please contact MaryAnn Jobe, coordinator of career initiatives, at 301-279-3447.

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