U.S. Senator John Barrasso was in Casper on Friday to tour a Natrona County School District facility whose mission is to teach students real-life skills as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Pathways Innovation Center offers high school students in Natrona County a variety of hands-on technical skills that educators say prepare students to begin their careers as soon as they exit high school.
Courses offered range from a television studio where students learn the basics of multimedia journalism to a full commercial kitchen in which students can explore a foray into the culinary world.
Students at Pathways also can receive certifications in their respective future lines of work.
Pathways offer training in the following career paths:
- Agriculture, food and natural resources
- Architecture and construction
- A/V technology and communications
- Hospitality and tourism
- Health science
- Information technology
- Transporation, Distribution and logistics
“They’re going to find good jobs — good-paying jobs — with good benefits,” Barrasso said. “And these are for high school students.
“There are lots of different ways people can get an education. All young people learn differently.”
Currently, 460 students are enrolled at Pathways, with 380 students receiving technical certifications last school year. Barrasso said those students are that much more attractive to the workforce as they leave school.
Local businesses have integrated in the program, giving students a direct path to the workforce.
“There are so many opportunities for young people to choose an area they find interesting and are intrigued by,” Barrasso said. “They can make bigger paychecks as a result of going through this program.
“Every student doesn’t need to go to college. Some want to do that. We have opportunities for them here in Wyoming with the Hathway Scholarship. For those who don’t want to do it, who want to learn specific skills, hands-on experience, this is the place for those students.”