Alaska Vocational Technical Center Executive Director Cathy LeCompte presents during a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Alaska Vocational Technical Center Executive Director Cathy LeCompte presents during a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

AVTEC director plugs programming at chamber luncheon

AVTEC is about more, LeCompte said, than just checking off classes to gain certification

Alaska’s first information technology apprenticeship and accelerated technical opportunities for high school seniors are among programs available at the Alaska Vocational Technical Center in Seward.

That’s according to AVTEC Director Cathy LeCompte, who provided an overview of AVTEC programming during a luncheon hosted Wednesday by the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex.

LeCompte said AVTEC has the capacity to serve 167 students and boasts a 95% course completion rate. The center can house 170 people in two dorms at the Seward campus and can offer apartment-style housing for students with families. That’s all in addition to making course curriculum available remotely for students unable to relocate to Seward.

AVTEC is about more, LeCompte said, than just checking off classes to gain certification.

“We’re training students to be good employees,” LeCompte said.

The center recently moved to loosen its admissions policies in a way that allows high school students to more quickly begin taking classes at AVTEC. High school students who are 17 years old and have the credits required for graduation, LeCompte said, can now start at AVTEC the January before they graduate through the AVTEC Senior Year to Career Pathway.

LeCompte also plugged AVTEC’s CompTIA A+ certification for apprenticeships, which is new to the center and part of Alaska’s first IT apprenticeship program.

Workforce development is a priority for peninsula leaders.

State Sen. Jesse Bjorkman said he plans to prioritize workforce development in his capacity as chair of the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee and U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski recently conducted a workforce development tour at Kenai Peninsula College. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is also bolstering its career technical education offerings.

More information about programs offered at AVTEC can be found at avtec.edu.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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