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La Porte County Celebrates Career and Technical Education Month

Award Recipients

Michigan City, IN – February 10, 2017 – Students and staff at the A. K. Smith Area Career Center, based in Michigan City, are joining others across the nation during the month of February in the annual celebration of national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month. This year’s theme is Celebrate Today, Own Tomorrow! CTE Month provides CTE programs across the country an opportunity to demonstrate how CTE educates students to be college-ready and prepares them for high-wage, high-demand career fields. Two activities for CTE month are scheduled locally:

  • An exhibition of La Porte County Career and Technical Education programs was held during a pancake breakfast that took place Saturday, February 4 at the A.K. Smith Career Center.  The event recognized students who received technical certifications, honored students of the semester and those with perfect attendance, and raised funds for CTE programs. Proceeds will support student participation in regional skills competitions and fees for certification exams.
  • A “Future Careers Expo” will take place at the A. K. Smith Center on Thursday, February 16. This event will engage CTE students in career planning and preparation through panel discussions, exhibits, and mock interviews. More than 75 community and business leaders and 380 students will participate in this event. Note: Adults are still needed to assist with mock interviews of students; please contact Kathy Angelo at or (219) 873-2120, ext. 8720.

“CTE courses are academically rigorous, and they provide hands-on experiences that keep students engaged,” says Audra Peterson, Director of La Porte County Career and Technical Education. “Students in our programs earn dual college credit, industry certifications, and important skills that will prepare them to be successful employees as well as future leaders.”

La Porte County Career and Technical Education has doubled its enrollment over the past five years. It now serves students from seven area high schools including La Porte, Lacrosse, Michigan City, New Buffalo, New Prairie, South Central, and Westville.  

Among the CTE programs offered at the A. K. Smith Center in Michigan City are Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Early Childhood Education, EMT, Energy, Facility Maintenance, Fire Science, Health Careers, Modern Machine Technology, and Welding.  There are currently 380 students enrolled, with that figure anticipated to grow.  Enrollment for fall classes is now open to juniors and seniors.  Interested students can call A.K. Smith, or speak to their high school guidance counselor for more information and to arrange a tour.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly one-third of the fastest growing occupations will require an associate’s degree or a postsecondary vocational certificate. Recent research published by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows that by 2018, 4.7 million new workers will need post-secondary certificates and credentials, such as those that can be obtained at the A. K. Smith Center.

For more information about La Porte County Career and Technical Education, call (219) 873-2120 or visit  

Our award recipients were as follows.  For perfect attendance:  Amber Anderson, Tiffany Arndt, Jasmine Ayres, Patricia Baker, Cassandra Bierl, Savannah Black, Gabrielle Brown, Blake Cannon, Conner Conklin, Lezly Davis, Joshua Dove, Rylan Epple, Gary Francisco, Alexandrea Hogan, La’Navia Jackson, Brittany Kellogg, Emilee Lachiewicz, Pauline Lutton, Evan Messman, Hayley Meyes, Haley Mulder, Kivian Pender, Kayla Peo, Leighton Rodriguez, and Stephanie Salgado.  For Student of the Semester:  Hailey Aubin, Chris Bohlim, Haley Cencelewski, Josh Dove, Thalia Garcia, C.J. Hawkins, Devin Higginbotham, Hayley Meyers, Haley Mulder, Da’Calvin Oliver, Stephanie Salgado, Kennedy Selman, Barbara Stanish, and Mike Welsch.  For obtaining certifications:  Raymond Alexander, Jordan Barth, Payton Bennitt, Andrew Boes, Cody Downs, Lane Geer, Saul Guzman, Devin Higginbotham, Levi McVay, Tyler Shireman, and Austin Smith.

Click here for our CTE fact sheet