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This month’s spotlight highlights Landscape and Environmental Design (LED) and Culinary Careers (CC)

Culinary Careers

The ongoing pandemic has impacted the way schools in the county proceed with their normal daily activities. This means that it is uncertain when schools will be able to welcome visitors back into their buildings without restrictions. We have partnered with The Columbiana County Career and Technical Center to showcase the career and technical programs that they offer so that incoming juniors can make an informed decision since sophomore visitations are not proceeding in the same manner as they have in the past. Programs will be spotlighted each month of the school year. Students who are interested in enrolling in a program for the 2021-22 school year are invited to do so by visiting the CCCTC’s webpage (https://www.ccctc.k12.oh.us) and completing the enrollment application which is available now. Any questions about the programs or the requirements for enrollment should be directed to Sue Allison, guidance administrator, at (330) 424-9561 ext. 118 or sue.allison@ccctc.k12.oh.us.

The CCCTC programs being featured in March are Landscape and Environmental Design (LED) and Culinary Careers (CC). Students enrolling in these programs are provided instruction that can open the door to a variety of careers. Students in Landscape and Environmental Design will learn what is needed to begin a career in landscaping or they may choose to further their career in environmental studies by attending post-secondary education. Students in Culinary Careers can choose to move straight into a career working in the food service industry or they may choose to refine their skills by attending a culinary education institution to hone in on specific skills such as becoming a pastry chef. Another option is having the background needed to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. With either career path, there are unlimited options of what students can do with the skills learned through their time at the CCCTC.

Landscape and Environmental Design (LED)

Benefits of Being a Student in the Program

For students who enjoy the outdoors, the LED is a wonderful choice. There are so many options for students’ futures when they enroll in this program. Students in this program are ready to go straight into the workforce because they learn how to operate equipment that is used in the field such as tractors, skid loaders, mowers, and bulldozers. Students also learn how to use laser equipment to shoot grade. For those particularly interested in landscape design, they will learn how to design and build hardscapes, softscapes, and water features, and they put those skills they learn to real world use by mastering the use of landscaping tools to manicure the landscapes on the CCCTC property. For those more interested in forestry and related fields, they will learn how to operate a chainsaw, fell a tree properly, how to climb using ropes and harnesses, and use forestry equipment safely in a state-of-the-art lab. For those who desire a career in horticulture, learning how to propagate, transplant, and grow plants through hydroponics and soil medium are skills that students will learn properly in the CCCTC’s new greenhouse with a controlled drip and misting watering system. Regardless of what branch of landscape and environmental design a student chooses, they must be well-versed in the business aspect as well. Students learn how to operate and manage a business through working with customers and reconciling the sales of plants during the CCCTC’s yearly plant sales. There is a plethora of opportunities available for the students to be successful through the LED program. Students even have the opportunity to get involved with the work-based learning program at the CCCTC which allows them to be employed off sight two to three days a week in a position in their field during their senior year.

LED Instructor John Garwood

Credentials and Articulation Agreements for the Program

Upon graduation, students who have successfully completed the requirements for the program can earn a 12 point credential as an Interim Ohio Certified Nursery Technician along with their OSHA 10 hr. training card which will include certifications with safety and operator skills in the tractor, zero turn, Bobcat, and dozer equipment. There is also an articulation agreement with Kent State University- Salem Campus that allows students to receive up to 21 credits toward an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Horticulture Technology for the work they completed during high school dependent upon meeting the requirements which include completing the program with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, submitting an application within 15 months of graduation, and successful completion of a high school CTP program.

Student Spotlight

An exemplary student from the LED program is Taylor Deland, a senior from Lisbon David Anderson High School. Taylor participates in many community agricultural groups related to the field of Landscape and Environmental Design including Jr. Fair board, FFA, and 4H. She also has participated as a member of the Lisbon High School softball team. As a full day student at the CCCTC, she serves as a student ambassador, recorder of the FFA, and the secretary of the National Technical Honor Society. She is currently employed at Diamond Cut Landscaping where she takes advantage of the work based learning program. In Taylor’s free time, she loves to spend time with family and friends going on hikes, walks, and adventures. Her hobbies mainly consist of working and caring for her animals on my family’s farm showing horses and goats, and gardening, and caring for landscape plants. About her decision to enroll in the LED program, Taylor says, “I immediately wanted to work in the greenhouse. I wanted to learn more about growing plants in the greenhouse, and the many other things LED has to offer. There is a huge learning space. Our lab is one of the largest on the campus with many tools that I wouldn’t have access to elsewhere. In LED, I enjoy most everything we do. I love the type of family bond my classmates and I have. My classmates are always there for me. That is part of what I love the most. I also love building hardscapes and the field trips we went on. I love doing our plant sales.” Taylor has been accepted into Ohio State ATI in Wooster where she will be attending starting in the fall semester of 2021. There she will be earning an associate’s degree in greenhouse and nursery management. Her plans are to become a nursery and greenhouse manager, and in the long run, eventually own her own business in this field.

Instructor Spotlight

CC Instructor Chef JR Straley

John Garwood, the Landscape and Environmental Design instructor, has a background that includes many different jobs and experiences that he is able to use in the classroom as teaching tools. He has lived in Columbiana County his entire life. During that time, he has 44 years of combined business experience,both with hands-on work and in managerial positions. His long history of involvement in the Columbiana County community gives him an understanding and appreciation of who the people of Columbiana County are and what the needs are. He is a graduate of Crestview High School and received his career technical teaching license in the fields of Industrial Maintenance & Repair and Production Agriculture from Kent State University. He has held multiple positions at the CCCTC prior to becoming the LED instructor. He was the workforce readiness instructor as well as the former building and ground supervisor. In the field of landscape and environmental design, he held positions with Agland Co-op where he had supervisory roles. He has also held many civil service positions including Crestview Advisory Committee to Superintendent, Crestview School Board, Fairfield Township Trustee, Member of the Columbiana County Farm Bureau, Columbiana County Agriculture Society, and the Fairfield Township Zoning Committee. In addition, he volunteers for 4-H. As an owner of his own farm, High Hope Farm, he has employed and managed a workforce. Mr. Garwood is an Ohio Certified Nursery Technician, holds his building operator certification, and was chosen as an outstanding young farmer for Ohio.

CCCTC’s Landscape and Environmental Design Program Benefits Local Businesses

The CCCTC’s LED program provides skilled workers to local businesses. There are already several local businesses that employ students from the Landscape and Environmental Design program. This opportunity is beneficial to both the business and the student. Having the opportunity to work in the field allows students to hone their skills in landscaping, hardscaping, greenhouses, floral shops, construction, farms, and tree service companies. The work-based learning program is a great benefit to local businesses because it allows students to get their feet wet in the field so they will be better prepared when they graduate to provide local businesses what they need from their employees. The best employees are ones who are passionate about their career, have the life skills necessary to be successful, and who have learned the career specific skills they need to grow a business. Students from the LED program possess all of those things and are ready to take those skills into the local workforce.

Culinary Careers (CC)

Benefits of Being a Student in the Program

Exemplary LED student, Taylor Deland

The greatest benefit of being a student in the Culinary Careers is that it prepares students for the real world. By enrolling in the Culinary Careers program, students are learning the skills they need to move straight into the food service industry. Oftentimes, people do not realize how much knowledge one must have not only of the food itself, but of the chemistry and math involved in the career to be successful. Students in the CC program at the CCCTC spend time learning about numerous things including the different types of sauces, knife-skills, and the proper way to prepare foods, but they also learn about how to use math to adapt a recipe to feed a large gathering or to pare it down to feed just two people. They also learn how to figure out food costs in order to run a successful restaurant. They learn about how to combine foods to reach a proper amount of acidity in a meal. All of these things require skills in math and chemistry. Students also learn what they love to do. Once entering the kitchen, students may discover their passion and choose to further their education in a specific field of hospitality or food service. Students are also fortunate to have the opportunity to learn the skills of the trade in a recently renovated state of the art kitchen. In addition, The Buckeye Restaurant is a student run full service restaurant where students can master their skills by serving people from the local community during lunch hours. While the restaurant was closed this year due to COVID, there are hopes it will be operational again in the 2021-22 school year allowing students to have this one of a kind opportunity. Being enrolled in the program often encourages students to further their education in the field to open themselves up to opportunities in larger settings such as resorts and restaurants in larger cities.

Credentials and Articulation Agreements for the Program

Students in the Culinary Careers program can earn their ServSafe certification and OSHA certification upon successful completion of the program. This allows them to move straight into the workforce. In addition, the CC program has an articulation agreement with The University of Akron where students can be rewarded up to 11 credits for courses such as Intro to Hospitality, Safety and Sanitation, and Fundamentals of Food Prep 1for the work they completed during high school dependent upon meeting the requirements which include completing the program with a grade point average of 3.0, submitting an application within 15 months of graduation, and having an official high school transcript.

Student Spotlight

Emily Banks is an exemplary student in the current senior culinary careers class. A student of Beaver Local High School, Emily is a full day student who serves as the SkillsUSA Career and Technical Student Organization president for Culinary Careers. She is also a member of the CCCTC National Technical Honor Society. Emily has already earned her OSHA Certificate, ServSafe Ohio Food Handler Certificate, and four ServSafe Ohio COVID Response Certificates. Emily is currently employed in the food service industry and is earning her ProStart work experience hours. Upon graduation, Emily will qualify for the National Restaurant – Ohio ProStart National Certificate of Achievement which is a great honor.

Exemplary CC student, Emily Banks

Instructor Spotlight

Chef JR Straley is the instructor for the Culinary Careers program. Chef Straley has32 years’ experience as a professional in the food service industry. He brings his wealth of knowledge from those years to the students at the CCCTC. He enjoys challenging students to be the best version of themselves and to push themselves to complete tasks that they did not realize that they could. He also tries to make their experiences parallel to what they would experience in a restaurant setting. He assigns students to positions in the student run restaurant, The Buckeye Restaurant, that give them the experience of working in a real-world fast paced eatery. Straley is a Certified Chef and Culinary Arts instructor.

CCCTC’s Culinary Careers Program Benefits Local Businesses

The benefit to local businesses is that they can feel secure in the knowledge that students who graduate from the culinary careers program are career and industry prepared and ready to enter the workforce on the day of graduation. Students have spent time mastering and then demonstrating their skills and leadership ability in the hospitality and food service industry. The students in the Culinary program are highly sought after in Columbiana County and surrounding areas. The curriculum that propels the program forward is ProStart Ohio which means that with this curriculum in place and the ServSafe credentials students earn, potential employers can feel secure in the knowledge that the students they hire will be well-versed in industry standards. Due to this and the support and participation of our area partners in the industry, the program receives many inquiries from local establishments for placement of current and past students for employment.

Any student who is interested in enrolling in the Landscape and Environmental Design or Culinary Careers Programs should complete the online application available now. Every program is limited in capacity, so do not hesitate to enroll to ensure you get into the program of your choice. Any questions about the programs can be directed to Sue Allison at extension 118 (sue.allison@ccctc.k12.oh.us) or Michelle Fitzsimmons at extension 158 (michelle.fitzsimmons@ccctc.k12.oh.us) at the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center.

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