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Meeting focuses on tech fields

Jerolene Williams, of Dallas County Career Tech program, browses the career/technical displays set up by the Selma City Schools Career Technical program sponsored event Monday inside the Central Alabama Farmer’s Coop. -- Desiree Taylor

Career technical education representatives from across the Black Belt met Monday with one goal in mind: to bring awareness to technical programs.

Dr. Verdell Dawson of the Selma City Schools Career Technical department said state budget cuts in education have caused a severe blow to career tech programs. Dawson talked about the importance of giving students the option of a career tech program in high school.

“We have changed with the times, we have transformed,” Dawson said. “Anyone that is an employee is a career technical person; when students leave (and) graduate from a career technical program, they’re ready on day one to work. We know career technical is the answer to economic turnaround and high school dropout prevention.”

Dawson said 27 percent of students who participate in a career tech program are projected to make more money in their careers than those with traditional four-year degrees.