CTE takes center stage at NMU’s Jacobetti Complex

MARQUETTE — High school students from across the Upper Peninsula will gather at Northern Michigan University’s Jacobetti Complex Friday in a celebration of Career and Technical Education during the 2018 Upper Peninsula CTE Skills Challenge.

NMU will host four student competitions beginning at 9 a.m. with the 12th annual Upper Peninsula High School Construction Skills Challenge, a day-long competition bringing construction trades students from high schools and career tech centers who will work in teams and have six hours to construct a multipurpose structure.

The public is encouraged to attend this event and view the work of these talented high school students, according to a press release.

“For these students, this is the equivalent of the U.P. or state finals in athletics,” Brian Sarvello, CTE director for Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Agency, said in the release. “They work just as hard as any athlete in preparation for the event and take great pride in representing their school and community. I hope the public will join us to see for themselves the tremendous talent and teamwork on display.”

At 10 a.m., high school welders will participate in the third annual Upper Peninsula High School Welding Skills Challenge. This competition provides an opportunity for high school students to display their welding skills and determines the top high school welder in the U.P.

The fourth annual NMU Automotive High School Skills Competition, which brings students from U.P. high school automotive programs to NMU’s Automotive Lab for a skills competition, will begin at 10 a.m.

The 2018 event will feature the inaugural Computer-Aided Drafting Skills Challenge. The Basic CAD Challenge will begin at 9:35 a.m., and the Advanced CAD Challenge will begin at 12:35 p.m.

Throughout the day, CTE teachers will participate in professional development sessions focused on best practices in safety, curriculum, instruction, and college and career preparation. The teachers will also have the opportunity to tour NMU’s facilities and a local construction project to view state-of-the-art equipment and processes.

The day will culminate with awards programs in the Jacobetti Commons for each of the competitions. The automotive skills awards will be presented at 1 p.m., the welding skills awards at 2 p.m., the computer-aided drafting skills awards at 3 p.m., and the construction skills awards at 5 p.m.

Many sponsors from across the U.P. contribute financial support and material donations to make these events possible. A planning committee headed by Tony Retaskie, executive director of the Upper Peninsula Construction Council, and comprised of local trades and business people, NMU administrators, instructors and students direct the event. In addition, numerous members of the trades serve as judges during the competitions.