Tech center - Electrical tech class

Daniel Dye / The Herald

Electrical technology instructor Jason Harris asks his class to review construction plans in preparation for a future exam.

One primary responsibility of the Elmore County Technical center is to educate students to enter the workforce. 

Assistant principal Emilie Johnson believes the center’s students’ successes come from the school’s holistic approach.

“The majority of our instructors are from the workforce,” she said. “We certainly offer job training to our students so they have the skills to do jobs well.

“We also pay a lot of attention to those employment skills employees find important. For example, getting along well with others, showing up on time, dressing well, knowing how to interview — it all matters. We offer a hands-on experience here versus just teaching book knowledge.”

Abigail Taylor, who is a 2017 graduate of Elmore County High School, chose the tech center because she wanted to explore engineering. 

“My teacher was very knowledgeable of the material, and I learned more than I would have in college due to the smaller classes or in the work field,” Taylor said. “(Attending classes at the center) helped me in college when it came to our design classes. Also, the AutoCAD credential I earned allowed me to have a CO-OP experience while at Auburn.”

That hands-on experience Johnson referred to was helpful to Mary Lambros, a 2016 graduate of Wetumpka High School.

“ECTC helped prepare me for my future career by teaching me the appropriate leadership skills in and out of the clinical setting,” Lambros said. “I feel as if I succeed more now in my job because I received that one-on-one experience that ECTC provided me in high school.”

The tech center is helpful for those who may not know how they want to go forward in their education and career as well.

“I chose ECTC because I was not sure of my future,” said Austin Sims, a 2016 graduate of Holtville High School. “The teachers here were excellent, always helping when I was stuck on how to do anything. I was driven by my teachers being pushed forward to show good work ethic. My experience was wonderful.”

When there is a high demand for jobs in a certain field, that can be a motivator for students to pursue education at trade and technical schools.

Brandon Orndorff, 2017 graduate of Stanhope Elmore, decided to attend the tech center after discovering the need for automotive technicians.

“After going through the automotive program, I was surprised to find that I had learned a significant amount of the material during my first two semesters at Trenholm Tech,” Orndorff said. “Taking classes at ECTC helped me to find the career I love so much today.”

While learning trades is certainly beneficial, the tech center helps with important interpersonal skills too.

“I wanted to go here because it was something different, and I wanted to learn a trade,” said Jonah Ingram, a 2018 graduate of Elmore County High School. “ECTC helped me get to where I am today by teaching me how to work with others, communicate with people, discover work ethic and how to apply what I learned here to the job I have now.”

The tech center can be contacted at 334-567-1218.