The Clark County Skills Center began in 1983 as a cooperative educational venture between eight Southwest Washington School Districts. The vision of those districts was to create a school, in partnership with business, "to prepare students for the work force" by offering students the opportunity to be trained in technical career areas too expensive for a single district to fund.
In support of the school mission, the Clark County Skills Center is leading the state in its implantation of the 21st Century Skills in the curriculum taught and the expectations of excellence in its students. As a collaborative effort, the staff developed expected outcomes of all Skills Center students. They are called "Qualities of a Skills Center Learner" and they are:
Craftsmanship & Quality:
· I can create, evaluate and revise my work in order to be consistent with industry standards and expectations for quality.
Life & Career Skills:
· I can accept praise, set-backs, and criticism in a positive manner in order to better my practice.
· I can present myself in a professional manner.
Communication & Collaboration:
· I can communicate effectively in all forms within diverse environments, utilizing common industry language.
· I can work collaboratively and with flexibility to accomplish a common goal.
Information, Media & Technical Skills:
· I can access and evaluate technical information ensuring reliability and credibility of resources.
· I can utilize media and understand the strategies it uses to communicate and influence people as well as identify the ethical and legal issues surrounding it.
· I can demonstrate use of technology through various platforms.
Investigation & Problem Solving:
· I can actively research, synthesize and apply new information.
· I can find multiple ways to solve a problem and can share the strengths and weaknesses of my solutions with a variety of audiences.
Critical Thinking & Analysis:
· I can independently reflect upon and synthesize what I’ve learned in order to grow both professionally & personally.
· I can consistently demonstrate integrity in personal and business contexts.
The Clark County Skills Center's...
Excellence, innovation, and a passionate spirit define the Clark County Skills Center.
- We are a visible community presence, driven by dynamic community partnerships and responsive to the global marketplace.
- We are a preferred source of highly capable employees.
- Our passion is driven by our students and their success.
- We are distinguished for preparing students with career and technical skills, academics and professionalism.
- We are pioneers in creating 21st century technical and academic training.
- The Clark County Skills Center is nationally recognized as the benchmark for professional and technical education.
To prepare each student with the relevant knowledge and skills for learning, career, and life.
- We value a safe, respectful, and caring professional environment.
- We value industry and community-guided career training.
- We believe we affect life-long learning and positive change in both students and staff.
- We value teachers who are industry professionals.
- We value technical and professional development.
- We value quality through continuous improvement.
- We value integrity, honesty, and accountability.
SKILLS CENTER FACTS:
The Clark County Skills Center opened its doors to Clark County high school juniors and seniors in the Fall of 1983.
Currently, there are over 1000 students attending the Skills Center.
PARTICIPATING SCHOOL DISTRICTS:
The Skills Center is cooperatively owned by the following school districts:
SKILLS CENTER PROGRAMS:
Applied Medical Sciences
Agriculture Science & Environmental Education (Brush Prairie)
Cosmetology (Orchards Campus)
Information Technology System, Services, and Support
Fashion Merchandising and Management
Financial Customer Services
Fire Science (Firefighter Cadet) (various locations)
Legal/Medical Office Applications
Travel and Hotel Management
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Profile of our students:
- 70% of the 2011 graduates are working or continuing their education related to their Skills Center program area.
- 41% of the 2011 graduates continued their education at a post-secondary institution.
- 7% of the 2011 graduates are unemployed. (The Washington State unemployment rate for 18 to 20 year olds is 10%.)
- 10% of Skills Center students are in the top 5% of the class at their sending high school.
- 32% of Skills Center students have a 3.5 or higher grade point average.
- During the 2010-2011 school year, Skills Center earned approximately 3,300 college credits through their Skills Center technical classes.
- The Skills Center has been recognized for excellence in the following ways:
- Clark County Skills Center 2008 graduates generate an annual payroll of $6.2 million and business revenues of $20.7 million at area employers. These employed students stimulate another $12.6 million in other business income, 91 jobs and $3.2 million in household income. They also support $1.9 million in taxable retail purchases and $28.9 million in housing values. For every grant and donation dollar that is given to the Skills Center, it produces at least another $1.00 of household income and $3.60 of business income within Clark County.
- Clark County Commissioners Marc Boldt, Tom Mielke and Steve Stuart.
- The Skills Center was invited to join the Career and Technical Education Baldrige Excellence Network. This is a national think tank association of ten exemplary technical schools.
- Business Week Magazine recognized the Skills Center as one of three high schools in the nation for instructional innovation.
- The Columbia River Education Council (CREWC) has recognized the Skills Center three years in a row for outstanding partnerships with business.
- Albertson’s Foundation has recognized the Skills Center as one of the top six technical schools in the nation.
- Over 250 business and industry professionals serve on advisory committees to Skills Center programs. That equates to one community volunteer for every three Skills Center students. Read more about our business partners in our Partnership Brochure.
FUNDING AND FINANCES:
The Skills Center does not receive bond or levy funds.
Skills Center graduates repay the total cost of the annual operation of the Skills Center within two years after graduation through State and Federal taxes.
The Clark County Skills Center supports the economic development of Washington State by preparing students as job ready employees.