At the third of four sessions scheduled for this school year, participants in our program for Leadership in Career & Technical Education gathered at Parkway West Career & Technology Center (CTC) to learn skills they’ll need to advance in their careers.
In addition to students from the host school, attendees came from A.W. Beattie Career Center, Forbes Road Career & Technology Center and Steel Center for Career & Technical Education.
For much of the morning session, students undertook team-building exercises designed to practice leadership skills and used them as a stepping stone to discussions about the qualities that leaders need. At the prompting of Program Director Jennifer Sethman, they came up with many. One student broke the ice offering that leadership means “you have to step up.” Others chimed in with dozens of characteristics—from quick thinking and communication to adaptability, open-mindedness, resourcefulness and creativity.
One lesson that pervades the work in LCTE is that “Leadership doesn’t always mean being the person in charge,” said Sethman. “Everyone on a team can lead from his or her strengths.”
Students said they find the exercises teach them something about themselves, among other things. Tyler, a West Mifflin junior studying computer and information technology at Steel Center, said “I definitely find value in them.”
He said he also finds the LCTE sessions give him a chance to network, learn about other CTC programs and find out about opportunities like apprenticeships that might interest him after he graduates.