College or military?
That used to be the only options students presented before graduating high school, but that attitude seems to be changing.
Though that was never actually the case, it was presented to high schoolers that way. Perhaps due in part to to seemingly never ending increasing college tuition rates (well beyond the rate of inflation) and a rising job shortage in career and technical careers.
The Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Santiam hosted a CTE fair last week at Lebanon High School that connected several employers in the area to students who are interested in a possible path after graduation. The students were pooled from seniors who may not be pursuing the college.
Or these students may be looking for a way to pursue college part time while working these types of jobs as college is becoming more and more expensive.
Knife River, Point S Tire and Automotive, Entek and Selmet all had representatives. Selmet particularly caught are eye because (and we checked their website) they offer career training in many different options. While there's no doubt that these jobs are going to put their workers nose to the grindstone, if these employees are willing to put in the hard work, they may see a great benefit.
These careers may be great for students who aren’t a right fit for college (and we would like to eliminate any shame from that). Or a student, who originally felt that college wasn't a good choice may determine later that after being in the workforce for a bit that college is now a good path to pursue, and these types of jobs aren't for them. It is much better but that’s better than sinking (or borrowing massive amounts) of money to find out the other way, and learning that from one of these jobs (or college) is a much better way to learn that than military service, which can be quite the commitment.
Samaritan Health Services had a variety of jobs that they hire workers with high school diplomas, and they also have jobs that those workers could train for (many require an associate degree) while working at those entry level hospital jobs.
It is certainly nice to see a change in attitude that if a student decides not to pursue a college education that mean military service. On that front, military service may be a great fit for some of the students who attended the fair (no branch was present).