The Greene County Career Center (GCCC) is an alternative education program serving high school students from the seven public school districts in Greene County. Offering nearly thirty courses of study, students are able to receive technical training that leads to job readiness and employment immediately after graduating from high school. Programming includes: Equine Science, Veterinary Science, Biotechnology, Family and Consumer Science, Engineering, Marketing, Agricultural Science and Business, welding culinary arts, and digital media just to name a few.
Through a partnership with the University of Dayton, GCCC high school students can earn college credit after successful completion of a Greene County Career On-Line Ed2GoCourses. Adults education at GCCC includes peace officer basic training and GED classes and testing.
Recently, GCCC broke ground on their new facilities, to be located in Xenia, OH. I spoke with David Deskins, Superintendent of GCCC about the Center and what the relocation means for both students and the community.
“Education extends far beyond obtaining a college degree, because that alone does not define a childs future. A career center experience provides a tangible skill a person can use in life or as a stepping stone to help pay for college if they choose to continue their education without incurring debt.”-David Deskins, Superintendent.
Q. Please provide a brief history of the center and it’s impact on the community.
A. The GCCC was established in 1967 GCCC to develop a workforce in the region. It was designed to provide opportunities for high school juniors and seniors to learn a trade and receive certification for immediate entry into the work force. Career centers were established in 1950, the year education became compulsory to meet the need of those who did not want to the “classical” education in a traditional school setting. It’s designed for those who want and desire “hand-on” apprenticeship based training. Graduate are ready to enter the workforce in a field immediately upon graduation.
Attending GCCC saves students money and provides a career path right out of high school and since its inception, GCCC has impacted nearly 15,000 people. Recently Chapel Electric hired 12 GCCC graduates from our electrical wiring program to help build the new tech center, proving that students, properly trained, can enter the workforce and contribute substantially.
Q. GCCC has broken ground on a new building, tell me about that project.
A. We are excited about this project and the opportunity to expand course offerings in aerospace. In December, 2018 a
Greene County levy was passed allowing us to receive funds to build the new facility. This was a result of market analysis showing a greater need for programs such as engineering technology, aerospace technology, and information technology. The project was funded by GCCC, the levy, and an additional $850,000 awarded by the Dayton Development Coalition to construct an airline hangar at the Lewis Jackson Airport to start an Airline Mechanic Program. By locating at the Lewis Jackson Airport, we are hoping out students will take advantage of their pilot training program to help meet the future need for airline pilots.
The 260,000 square-foot, two-story building will be erected on vacant land in Xenia at U.S. 35 and U.S. 68. The project is slated to be finished by July 2020 and open in time for the 2020- 2021 school year.
Q. What if any advice would you give to other communities who may want to grow their technical centers?
Career and technical centers like GCCC are connected to the community and impact them on multiple levels. We’re partners. The school itself has a board made up of businesses, community leader, state partners, and former students; and each department within the school has an advisory board made up of industry professionals within the field. They do a great job of maintaining connectivity with the business world.
Career and tech centers must be cognizant of the current needs in their community and conduct regular surveys to help make the case for funding when it is needed. They must stay in tuned with community workforce needs.
They must partner with the schools, and have methods to ensure students are aware of programs such as regular tours, in school classes, and streamlined enrollment methods.
Most importantly, career and tech centers must obtain instructors who want to empower students to see their dreams come true.
Q. What does the future look like for GCCC?
A. We want to continue our history of great service to the community by maintaining our commitment to innovation that enhances and supports the learning experience of students. GCCC seeks to put the most modern equipment in front of our students. For example, our students are learning on green screen and 4K camera equipment that some of the commercial stations and local colleges are not even using. The school utilizes 350 kilowatt wind turbines to offset the cost of electricity in school building and we use the technology as an opportunity to learn about conservation and energy alternatives.
by Lena Fields-Arnold.
David Deskins, Superintendent