A+machining+degree+can+be+completed+in+a+two+year+program+and+is+used+in+many+businesses+in+the+Owatonna+area

Ben Johnson

A machining degree can be completed in a two year program and is used in many businesses in the Owatonna area

Trades at OHS

November 13, 2018

OHS offers a variety of classes that pertain to career paths in fields such as agriculture, industrial arts, and family and consumer science courses. Most of these departments have been thriving after their numerous years of being offered at OHS, but the Industrial Arts department is struggling. OHS used to have three industrial technology teachers in the year 2013, but since then that number has dwindled down to only one. The auto program suffered a similar downfall; currently the OHS offers zero courses regarding auto mechanics. In past years, the Industrial Arts department has been losing numbers both staff and student participation. Senior Dakota Savoie said, “I would say that I would not find myself following in a career path with the industrial tech field, but that doesn’t mean the class should be taken away because there is so much more to just taking it for a career. You can take the skills acquired into other life experiences too.”

We continue to strengthen our career tech. ed. programs, and we are continuing to see those numbers go up. The challenge is going to be as people retire, trying to find replacement teachers.”

— Ms. Denise Lage

The decrease of trade electives over the years, has had impacts on the departments. Ms. Denise Lage said, “We continue to strengthen our career tech. ed. programs, and we are continuing to see those numbers go up. The challenge is going to be as people retire, trying to find replacement teachers.” Jobs in the trade school fields are continuing to pay well, so the problem lies in the fact that there is more money to be made working in the field rather than teaching it. When people see how successful and large the industries are they are drawn in.  

The success in the industry is apparent, but the OHS industrial tech. department struggles nevertheless. Mr. Mark Randall said, “For one thing with our industrial or tech education classes it is harder to find teachers, so all we have really done is we have shifted small engines and made it so an AG teacher can teach that.” In order to compensate for the lack of teachers in the field, the faculty has resorted to moving existing teachers into those places. Mrs. Liz Tinaglia said, “There are a lot of statistics coming up saying that agriculture careers are one of the largest areas of employers. They say like 23 million jobs are in agriculture, and that’s including other CTE areas too.” The booming agriculture field is indicative of the success of other trade areas as well, reminding students of the success in this route.

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