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Advisory Committees Offer Input
By CATHERINE STORTZ RIPLEY, C-T
November 14, 2014

CAPTION: Grand River Technical School Instructor Brandon Dennis meets with members of the Computer Networking Advisory Committee Wednesday evening. Through the committees, which include people employed in related fields of study, instructors are able to gather input to help ensure graduates are properly prepared to enter the workforce.


C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Individuals from many business facets throughout the community attended Grand River Technical School's annual fall advisory committee meetings Wednesday evening at the school. Those who attended are people who volunteer their time to help ensure that the school's graduates are prepared for the workforce. Around 140 people attended Wednesday's meetings. "It is a valuable and important night of the year for us," said GRTS Director Jayme Caughron.

The committees meet once in the fall and once in the spring. Each program offered through GRTS has its own advisory committee. The committees include programs such as business, paramedics, computer networking, welding, industrial maintenance, building trades, agriculture, auto service tech, child care services, health services tech, and more. "We invite folks who can give us input on what curriculum we should be offering and if our equipment is up to date," Caughron said. "They give us estimates on the demand in our field." Hearing from the local professionals in their respective fields is a benefit to the school, the businesses, and the industry, Caughron said. "We need to do what our community needs as well as what our industry needs," she said. "We need to make sure we are preparing our students for our workforce as well as continuing education."

Everything from the equipment that is purchased to the curriculum and testing and the way the school conducts internships are a result of the feedback from the advisory members. In addition to having potential employers involved, the committees also include other business and industry leaders, a parent and either a past or present student. School district board members are also involved with the committees. The advisory committee program has been existence since the school began in 1967. Last year, a new advisory committee was established for the purpose of reviewing the school as a whole, studying its goals and strategic plan as well as offering advice. GRTS has a strong record of success and 95 percent of its adults had job placements after completing their courses this year. The high school students had 93 percent placement.

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