Some Quad Cities high school students are getting hands on experience in what could be their future careers. UT Area Career Center is one of the only trade schools left in the Quad Cities and could get busier with more schools looking at participating.
Scott Kave never thought he would be a teacher, but surprisingly he’s been doing it for 25 years, “I like seeing the kids from the time you see them as juniors to the time they graduate high school. They’re finally coming on strong with some skills that they can go and make a living with it.”
Scott teaches Auto Body repair, just one of the many trades at UT Area Career Center, where students get to work on actual customer’s vehicles. Nine surrounding Quad City high schools participate and more schools are looking at joining because of program cuts.
“Kids use to get some of this experience back in junior high but budget cuts have come along, junior high schools can no longer afford these programs,” says Scott.
Rockridge High School senior Dustin Reddick has always been into fixing things, “I started out being mostly a gear head in like small engines out of lawnmowers and stuff like that.”
The program helps students figure out what field they might want to go into.
Scott says a lot of his students don’t want to go to college which is one reason why he says this program is important, “I think without it, some of these kids many not even finish school. They feel sometimes that they don’t want to go to college.”
It’s about finding what students like, “You have to find the thing that fits that student and what that student enjoys doing and I think that’s the key to life, doing something you enjoy,” says Scott.