MCE students learn about vocational careers

April 29, 2024

West Shore School News is presented by West Shore Educational Service District in partnership with Mason County Press and Oceana County Press. 

CUSTER — Just ahead of National Skilled Trades Day, Mason County Eastern High School welcomed local professionals in various vocational trades to their campus for its first Trades Week, which took place April 22-26.  The week was spearheaded by Mason County Sheriff Dep. Jake Lesinski, student resource officer assigned to MCE, who started his career in the trades, before later becoming a police officer.

Lesinski said it was important to him that students knew what opportunities exist to get into the trades right out of high school. With the support of School Counselor Shelly Rife and assistance from Mason College Access Specialist and Promise Director Jody Maloney, Lesinski put together a week of presentations for students in grades 9-12.

Each session welcomed 15-25 students who were interested in learning more about specific fields.  On Monday and Thursday, students learned about a combination of carpentry, electrical, welding, machining and commercial construction from professionals with Hardman Construction, Matthew 6 Construction, and Blackmer Construction. On Tuesday, students heard about opportunities with UPS from Sheri Howe and about automotive trades from Mike Kaffenberger or Betten-Baker.

On Wednesday and Friday, students heard from local plumbers and pipe fitters, represented by Bob’s Plumbing and UA Local 174 pipe fitter, Jason Finch. The week also wrapped up with a presentation on early childhood apprenticeships and other apprenticeship opportunities from Julie Sanders and Kimberly Tagliereni from Michigan Works, who provided an overview of funding opportunities, while Mason County Eastern Elementary educators Sandra Gomez and Alyssa Benfield shared about becoming childcare providers and their work as Great Start Readiness Program teachers.



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