FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Several classes a part of the Fort Wayne Community Schools Career Academy have been recognized as SEAL (State Earn and Learn) programs. The programs are designed to help students develop trade skills and transition into the workforce, filling much needed positions.
Representatives from Indiana’s Office of Work Based Learning and Apprenticeship helped make the SEAL programs official, presenting certificates Monday morning. The programs include construction trades like welding, carpentry and masonry, as well as automotive repair and computer programming classes.
“State Earn and Learns allow our students to have that opportunity to earn money while they learn the skills necessary to be successful in the workforce,” Career Academy Principal Jesse Webb told WANE 15. “That’s the most exciting piece – getting our 17 and 18 year old students ready for the workforce. A lot of those will go straight into it, to help fill those major needs that we have in Allen County.”
Much of what is taught at the Career Academy is designed for students to develop professional relationships with companies around the area. Each SEAL program was created with the help of advisory boards made up of working professionals. The programs give students a jump start into a career without going to college.
“We’re not saying that college is a bad thing, we’re just saying we’re giving you an opportunity avenue to further your education post-secondary-wise,” Webb explained. “You can earn money doing what you love to do, and if you choose four or five years down the road to go back to school, go back to college, you can build on those credentials you have earned.”
“I was just so sick and tired of sitting down doing book work, writing stuff down, copying notes,” Sam Heller, a welding student added. “Now I can apply my skills to what I’m doing. I can see how it translates to real world stuff. It’s super duper exciting to see that I can do this.”