Treasure Valley Tech will have more future training opportunities on the horizon for students

Welding helmets sit atop lockers in the welding shop at the Vocational Tech building in June of 2018. Some students in the Treasure Valley Tech program, including those in the welding 2 class, have utilized this space for class.

ONTARIO — In the 2013 and 2014 school year, Treasure Valley Tech started with Welding 1 at Ontario High School. The inaugural program involved students from Ontario, Vale and Nyssa. The program still offers local high school students technical education programs in order to help those students be ready for the workforce and also to develop a workforce for local business.

Treasure Valley Tech operates under the supervision of the Malheur Education Service District and Superintendent Mark Redmond spoke during the Ontario Area Chamber of Commerce Forum about the program’s past and what the vision is for the future.

Treasure Valley Tech program was promoted initially by Poverty to Prosperity, a local organization, which set out to find ways to improve the economy of Malheur County. One of the ways was to provide job training.

In 2014-15 Welding 2, taught at Treasure Valley Community College, was offered the second year for students who wanted to further their skills in that trade. In addition, Introduction to Allied Health was started, with the teacher traveling between the three schools.

In the third year, the health occupations class was continued and a class teaching a health occupation, certified nursing assistant, class was started.

Both welding classes and the CNA classes offer students the opportunity to receive certificates in their respective fields enabling them to go out and get jobs, Redmond said.

Programs which have been added in subsequent years have included automated systems, computer science, industrial manufacturing, phlebotomy and early childhood education, he said.

Early childhood class is taught online. Redmond said. and there is a teacher who travels between Nyssa, Adrian and Vale to teach computer science classes and some Adrian students join classes at Nyssa.

At the end of the current school year, there will be certificates in computer science and industrial manufacturing.

Currently there are 243 students in Treasure Valley Tech programs, Redmond said. the present goal is to have 120 of them graduating with certificates, ready to get jobs.

Future goals include building upon and maintaining current programs and developing additional training opportunities. These could include internships, which are long-term work training where students are assigned specific tasks and where the students are paid, as well as externships where the students are job shadowing for short periods of time and are not paid, he said.

Larry Meyer is a news reporter at The Argus Observer. He can be reached at (541) 823-4813 or by emailing larrym@argusobserver.com.

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