Sophomores tour LeCroy Tech Center

Published 2:44 pm Thursday, February 8, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer


Each Chilton County 10th grade class toured LeCroy Career Technical Center this week to get an idea of trade program they may be interested in applying to.

Some LeCroy students served as tour guides, while others talked about what they are learning in their programs.

Tour guide Tyler Means, a student from Jemison High School in LeCroy’s welding program, said he wanted to ensure students felt comfortable on the tour as a sophomore.

“I enjoy career tech, so I wanted to walk around and tell people, ‘Hey, this is a good place,” Means said.

Means had no idea about career tech when he took the tour but became interested in the welding program.

“I like working with my hands, so I really enjoy welding, even though I didn’t know anything about welding when I went in there,” Means said.

He said the teachers at LeCroy really connect with the students and help them.

“They do more than teach you, they will help you later on in life,” Means said. “They will help you get jobs.”

Means said his teachers have also shown him how trade jobs are in demand and pay well.

Chilton County High School toured the facility on Feb. 8.

“I think it’s great, because they are seeing firsthand what career readiness is and they can learn firsthand and get an overview of (how) a trade may help them in life if college is not for them,” Principal Ron Pinson said.

Industrial Maintenance was the first stop for Means’ group.

Teacher Jason Cleckley said many manufacturing facilities have robots and other machinery, and companies need people who know how to fix them.

“That is the job of a maintenance technician, that is what I attempt to teach them here is how to fix all that, maintain it and keep it running smoothly,” Cleckley said.

Students in the program learn basic wiring, basic electronics, motor control and some robotics.

Cleckley said only about 10 percent of the course is “book work,” the rest is hand-on learning.

He said the tour was a good opportunity to help students figure out what they might want to do.

“A lot of them haven’t seen anything like this before … so seeing this (the workspace and lab) helps them get an idea, especially when they hear how much money they can make ($100,000), that really gets their attention,”

However, he said those interested in the field “can’t be afraid of hard work.”

Auto Service Technology Teacher Lee Brown said the program was good for students who enjoy fixing things, taking things apart, ” seeing how mechanical stuff works” and willing to get dirty.

He said the starting salary in the industry was $30,000 to $50,000.

Internships are also an integral part of the program. This leads to a job for the majority of the students.

He encouraged the visiting students that working in a trade can be a good way to pay for college.

Cosmetology is another of the many programs students toured during the event.

Teacher Tracy Minor said the tour helps the students get a good start on deciding what they want to do.

Minor shared stories of former students who were now successful in the field. Minor said the program helps students earn hours toward their license. She said license is required to cut hair.

“There are high demands for cosmetologists,” Minor said.

Student Jacci Mims gave an overview of the course requirements, activities and costs.

The program also teaches barber skills and is open to male or female students.