CTC students begin leadership training

Our new Leadership in Career & Technical Education (LCTE) program got underway in October when students came together from four career and technology centers (CTCs) for the first of four “pillar days” devoted to developing specific soft skills needed for leadership.

For the first session, the students learned a little about leadership overall, the soft skills it entails and what role those skills—from communication to critical thinking—play in creating resumes and applying for jobs.

Ben Stahl, DSc., Executive Director of the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania, gave the keynote address as well as a breakout session

“Leading is different than just managing,” Stahl told the teens, noting that both are important functions but that leading requires the traits that make people want to follow. “Listening is one of the most important.”

The Consortium is offering LCTE in collaboration with Leadership Pittsburgh and the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

In addition to Stahl, Jeff Nobers, Executive Director of the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania and Jenifer Riley-McClelland, a Human Resources staffer at Quick-Med Claims, hosted break-out sessions at the LCTE session. Riley-McClelland discussed how to present experience and skills on a resume and Nobers talked about the traits that lead to supervisory and leadership roles on construction crews and in trade unions.

Students also networked with peers from other districts and broke out of the comfort zones of their own schools for a team-building exercise known as the Marshmallow Challenge.

In addition to the multi-school “pillar day” training sessions, students in the leadership groups will meet periodically with instructors at their own CTCs to talk about and practice these transferrable skills.

Participating in the program are students from all four of Allegheny County’s CTCs—A.W. Beattie Career Center, Forbes Road Career & Technology Center, Parkway West Career & Technology Center and Steel Center for Career & Technical Education.