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High school students to showcase advanced technical skills at first CTE summit in Fresno

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This year, Fresno Unified has around 15 career pathways ranging from technical to traditional, and the CTE Summit plans on building on each of those. (KFSN)

Duncan Polytechnical High School takes hands-on to the next level. Within the last year, their welding courses has gone from virtual simulation to the real deal.

"We're welding, cutting, torching, grinding," sophmore Cristian Ventura said. "We're sanding, cutting on the iron worker - learning some things that can help us with many jobs."

While most 15-year-olds like playing with Snapchat filters, Ventura already has his business plan laid out for when he graduates.

"I plan on creating my own fencing company because there aren't many around here or in Fresno County," he said.

He's addressing a need in the community workforce, and it's only one of the agenda items on the first Career Technical Education Summit.

Community leaders will get to see first-hand at Duncan what students within the district learn. This year, Fresno Unified has around 15 career pathways ranging from technical to traditional. The CTE Summit plans on building on each of those.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for our folks to come and see what's going on and to be able to give voice and feedback to the school system that Fresno Unified has and is developing and how it's meeting the demands of Fresno," Principal Jeremy Ward said.

The collaborative effort between Fresno Unified and the community will develop new ways to expand CTE programs. In addition to business and education leaders, student representatives will also provide feedback.

"We've been running student voice groups to get input from them over a period of time to hear what's working, what's not working for them," Sally Fowler with the district said.

The district's relationship with Fresno City College is helping pave the way to career readiness.

"We're building out dual enrollment courses so kids can earn college credit while they're in high school," she said.

The CTE Summit is Tuesday, May 9 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Duncan Polytechnical High School.

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