New Horizons Hosts Conference about Future of Employment Needs

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Attendees of the conference discussed the benefits of hiring New Horizons graduates, as well as how technical and career education programs in the area can be shaped to better meet their employment needs.
Attendees of the conference discussed the benefits of hiring New Horizons graduates, as well as how technical and career education programs in the area can be shaped to better meet their employment needs. (Courtesy New Horizons)

New Horizons Career and Technical Education Center is partnering with Peninsula employers to increase opportunities for its graduates in the coming years.

NHCTE, which is operated by the school divisions of Williamsburg/James City County, Newport News, Gloucester, Hampton and Poquoson, partnered with the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce to host a convention at Ferguson’s Training Center in Newport News last month.

The conference, which was attended by more than 50 professionals who represent 20 different employers, is already bearing fruit for current CTE students. Twelve employers present pledged to hire a graduate from the class of 2016, according to a news release from New Horizons.

“We were overwhelmed with the positive response from local employers who need qualified talent which we can provide,” said Joe Johnson, New Horizons’ executive director.

Many of the employers present come from the manufacturing industry, which has a particular need for employees with the skill set that CTE hones in its students.

Recognizing this need, New Horizons Regional Education Center is investing heavily in its partnership with the Career and Technical Education Center. The ultimate goal is to not only encourage local businesses to hire and retain CTE graduates, but also to improve the ability of the students to meet the specific needs of the community.

This initiative fits right in line with NHREC’s ongoing goal for the past 40 years, which has been to offer career and technical education to high school students within its jurisdiction.

Currently around 1,000 high school juniors and seniors are participating in career and technical programs around the Peninsula.

“We are planning another workshop specifically for Pledging Employers in September 2015 to begin the candidate generation, hiring, and preparation process and are encouraging as many employers who want to hire and retain a CTE High School Graduate to attend,”  Johnson said.