Merced County Times Newspaper
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Delhi celebrates new multimillion-dollar CTE classroom

 

By MIKE BIDDISON

Last week, officials at Delhi Unified School District staged a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new multimillion-dollar teaching facility on the sprawling high school campus in Delhi, a Merced County community of close to 11,000 residents.

The town stands near the northern county line. It is likely only a freeway exit sign on the way to Turlock for those who have never been there, but Delhi High School is where nearly 800 Merced County students congregate daily.

The ribbon-cutting signaled the opening of the brand new Career and Technical Education building on campus. Construction had been funded by the passage of Measure ‘W’ in 2016. Nearly 75 percent of voters in the community gave their approval. Ground breaking began in February, 2023, on this “transformative addition” to Delhi High School. The facility is now open for business a little more than a year later.

Career and Technical Education, or CTE, used to be termed ‘Vocational Education.’ Students with no interest in pursuing a college degree could get technical skills for employment in multiple fields, with hands-on experience in school and through various internship programs. It has always been an option, since public schools became a standard in this country back in the 1700s.

While losing favor in recent years, it has regained standing and popularity over the past decade. Innovations in computers, robotics, AI, and other specialized tools and highly technical requirements in nearly every field of employment have led to this. Those fields include Agriculture, Business, Health Care, Media and Communications, Architecture and Construction, and more.

The designers at TETER Architects and Engineers created the new building to be adaptable to the many specialized fields or careers to be taught. They claim it is strategically open and capable of supporting future changing job markets.

Studies show that non-college oriented high schoolers who enter CTE programs earn significantly higher wages than their non-CTE peers. Students in CTE, like school, miss fewer days and drop out less frequently than others. The CTE building in Delhi will meet the changing needs of Career and Technical students as innovation modifies industries in step with the times.

Nearly three dozen students, faculty, board members and other interested parties attended last week’s ribbon cutting ceremony, including a representative from Assemblymember Esmeralda Soria’s office.

District Superintendent Jose Miguel Kubes gave opening remarks, followed by statements from Delhi High School Principal, Ed Taylor, Board of Trustees President Cynthia Caldera, and others.

Principal Taylor said, “This state-of-the-art facility will equip our students with essential tools, resources, and hands-on experiences, preparing them for a successful future in the modern workforce.”

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