Originally Published: September 21, 2013 6:01 a.m.
Not everyone is meant to be a Rhodes scholar.
Aspiring toward higher education and a career as a doctor, lawyer, teacher, scientist or any job across the broad spectrum of professions is admirable.
But we often overlook people in the kinds of careers we depend on in our everyday lives.
This is exactly why schools such as the Mountain Institute Joint Technical Education District (MIJTED), commonly called JTED, are so vital. They not only give the public skilled trades to rely upon, but they also offer young people who don't want to attend college or cannot for some reason opportunities they might not otherwise have. JTED programs include training in such areas as aviation technology, culinary arts, medical professions, nursing services, pre-engineering robotics, sports medicine, transportation technologies, welding technologies, business management, drafting and design, and marketing and entrepreneurship.
For the 2012-13 school year, the local JTED ranked No. 1 in eight programs in an assessment completed by the Arizona Department of Education. These eight programs include the agriculture and business program at Chino Valley High School, the automotive programs at Yavapai College and Prescott High School, the nursing services program at Bradshaw Mountain High School and the MIJTED central campus in Prescott, and the culinary arts program at the central campus and Chino Valley High School.
The MIJTED also earned a ranking as second in the state for its bio-science program at Chino Valley High School, its business management and administrative services program at Prescott High, computer networking at Bradshaw Mountain High and Prescott High, and its sports medicine program at the central campus.
According to MIJTED Superintendent Jeramy Plumb, this is the second year the Mountain Institute JTED has been ranked as the top performing JTED among 12 across the state, based on the results generated by the Skill Standards Assessment System.
The JTED concept is fairly new in our area. Voters approved MIJTED by 70 percent in the 2008 general election, and its enrollment is comprised of 2,500 students from seven public high schools in western Yavapai County - Ash Fork, Bagdad, Bradshaw Mountain, Chino Valley, Mayer, Prescott and Seligman. MIJTED's enrollment has more than doubled since its first classes began in the 2009-10 school year.
The MIJTED website proclaims: Get trained. Get certified. Get hired.
While it may be too early to tell just how successful JTED students are and will be in landing jobs they have been trained for, it appears now that taxpayers made a good investment when they approved MIJTED just a few years ago.
We applaud MIJTED for getting off to such a good start. Keep up the good work.