Tazewell Co. Career and Technical Center students and administration encourage hands-on learning

TAZEWELL, VA (WOAY) – In honor of Career and Technical Education Month, Tazewell County Career and Technical Center opened its doors to give an inside look on the day-to-day operations.

With 68 courses taught this year, we spoke with students and administration about some of the programs and the benefits of the career and technical education path, one that CTE Director and Principal Cynthia Beavers says does not have to be linear. 

“It is a wonderful place to be,” Beavers said. “We have a lot of things to offer our students and one of the things that I tell the groups that we talk to, it’s not trades versus college. Regardless of what you want to do with life, we’ve got something that can help because everything that we teach here  is going to impact somebody, or everybody rather, in some way or another as an adult.”

With everything from criminal justice to masonry to cosmetology, Tazewell County Career and Technical Center offers their 2,699 students a wide variety of options. 

“I’ve always just liked hands-on learning and up here’s a great opportunity to have that,” Trey Dye, a welding student, said.  

But their opportunities take them beyond the classroom as many will compete on the state and national level for SkillsUSA competitions and many will become state-certified in their desired field once they leave high school. 

“If you want to do college, you can do college, but as you do that, you can make the same amount as adults are making now, and you won’t necessarily have to financially struggle,” Taylor Campbell, a cosmetology student, said. 

Some might jump right into the workforce, some might head off to college first and some might just want to pick up auto mechanics as a hobby. Whichever path the student choose, those with the center say it is all about giving skills, opportunities and options. 

“To be able to graduate high school and be able to say, ‘I can do that. I can do that,'” Beavers said. “And have the confidence to not only do that but they can do it well, that’s huge.”

Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.