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RLC highlighting programs during CTE month with video competition

Students enrolled in many of Rend Lake College’s Career Technical Education (CTE) programs will have the chance to show off their skills and compete for a reward and bragging rights throughout the month with a new video competition.

The competition will begin tomorrow, February 2, in honor of CTE Month. According to the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the month-long celebration is all about highlighting the value and achievements of CTE programs across the country.

For the competition, RLC will visit a new program or cluster every day to video the on-goings in each classroom. When the video is posted to RLC’s YouTube channel, students will have 24 hours to like, share, and comment on any of RLC’s social media accounts: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. At the end of the month, whichever video has the most views will receive a pizza party and bragging rights around campus.

RLC President Terry Wilkerson, a product of one of RLC’s most popular CTE programs – Agriculture – said the goal of the competition is to give students the chance to show off their skills and give the community a glimpse of exactly what happens across the Ina campus.

“We couldn’t be more proud of the students in our CTE programs for their hard work in the classroom, and this competition is a way to congratulate them and let them take the spotlight,” said Wilkerson. “I think I can speak for everyone when I say I’m excited to see what they’re all up to this month.”

CTE programs prepare students for in-demand and growing careers in countless industries. In fact, the ACTE states that CTE health care occupations, many of which require associate degrees or less, make up 12 of the 20 fastest growing occupations.

RLC offers many CTE health care programs, including the new Veterinary Assistant and recently reaccredited Medical Assistant programs. Others include Biomedical Electronics, Emergency Medical Services, Health Information Technology, Nursing, Pharmacy Assistant, Phlebotomy, and Radiologic Technology.

In addition to the agriculture and health care programs at RLC, students have a wide range of options to get hands-on experience to join the local workforce. In fact, in the last year RLC has added several new certificates in Business, Early Childhood Education, and Graphic Design.

Some other CTE programs include Architecture, Automotive Technology, Computer Programming, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Diesel Technology, Heavy Equipment, Industrial Electronics, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Office Systems Technology, Truck Driver Training, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and Welding.

Lori Ragland, Vice President of Instruction, said the addition of new programs and certifications is one way RLC continues to exceed its mission of helping students achieve their educational goals, plus meet industry needs.

“Career and Technical Education programs at RLC continue to grow because of the local demand for these graduates. We partner with business and industry in our district to offer high-skill, in-demand programs,” said Ragland. “We also interact with these local businesses to find out what their needs will be in the future, giving our students an advantage in the industry they choose.”

Other facts published by the ACTE state postsecondary CTE graduates achieve significantly higher earnings than those who majored in academic fields. Additionally, current CTE students are preparing for a nationwide shortage of skilled individuals as more than 80 percent of manufacturers report talent shortages are impacting their ability to meet customer demands.

By 2020, there will be approximately 16.5 million job openings for CTE students with some college or a two-year associate degree.

To view the RLC video competition, visit the RLC YouTube channel, or any other social media account, starting tomorrow. A new video will be posted daily with a viewing window of 24 hours. To learn more about CTE Month,