Formerly known as the Clinton Vocational Education Center, the Clinton High School Career Complex has been a part of the Clinton Public School District since 1975, and is one of the vital factors in preparing students for the real world beyond high school and college.
“At the Career Complex, we introduce students to high skill, high wage, and high demand careers,” said Brett Robinson, Clinton Career Complex principal. “We are committed to producing graduates who possess the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in their future educational endeavors and career choices. We take pride in developing a first-class workforce.”
Ninth-grade students at Sumner Hill are required to enroll in Career Keystone, a class that places a heavy emphasis on professionalism, career exploration, interviewing skills, and setting goals. Students are recruited and encouraged to take advantage of what is offered at the Career Complex.
Programs offered at the Career Complex include:
• Automotive Technology (Charlie Melton)
• Construction (Travis Dyar)
• Culinary Arts Technology (Chef Adam Williams)
• Digital Media (Tempress Holly-Lanyuy)
• Health Science Core (Laura Little)
• Health Science II (Chasity Keenan)
• Information Technology (Bill McIlwain)
• Teacher Academy (Kathy Greene)
• Career Pathway Experience, housed at CHS (Kathleen Foshee)
Once students matriculate to CHS, they may enroll in a program for one or two years. Career Complex courses count as a 2-credit elective option.
In early December, an advisory committee luncheon was held to discuss the status of the Career Complex and its future. The advisory committee is made up of local community, education, and business leaders in order to positively influence the students.
“We need and welcome their knowledge, advice, and help to ensure our graduates are on the right path to meet future needs,” said Robinson. “Our doors are always open.”
Student ambassadors from each program attended the luncheon to speak about their studies at the center.
“I appreciate the skills I learned in Career and Technical Education,” said Emily Long, Culinary Arts Technology student. “Skills of team work, problem solving, leadership, and professionalism will all serve me throughout my life.”
Edwin Campbell, a second-year Digital Media student also said the career and technical education is preparing him for his future college and career choice.
Mayor Phil Fisher, Alderwoman Jan Cossitt, and Superintendent Phil Burchfield were also in attendance.
Enrollment at the center has increased by 64 percent within the last three years, now having 301 students. Projected enrollment for the 2015-16 school is more than 350 students.
Robinson has been the principal of the career complex since 2012. In the future, he hopes to add more programs that focus on high skill and high demand careers in engineering, law and public safety, business and marketing, and logistics.
“I would like to see students have increased opportunities for internships and job shadowing,” he said. “I would like to see our business and industry partnerships continue to grow. These are all invaluable means of ensuring our instructors are providing students with training that meets the future needs of our workforce.”
Career Complex Stats
• 31 seniors at CHS are in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2015
(4 of those are CTE students) One student is in the top 10
• 40 juniors at CHS are in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2016
(8 of those are CTE students) Four students are in the top 10
• 44 sophomores at CHS are in the top 10 percent of the Class of 2017
(14 of those are CTE students) Two students are in the top 10
• The Clinton Career Complex is one of the first CTE schools in Mississippi to offer dual enrollment opportunities (Carpentry and Information Technology) through a partnership with Hinds Community College.
• Culinary Arts Technology I students at CHS were one of only two programs statewide with a 100 percent pass rate on the ProStart National Certification Exam.
• Automotive Service Technology students ranked third in the state based on test scores and won second place at the Ford/AAA national competition in Dearborn, Mich. (Note: In the past 8 years, CHS students won first place six times in the national competition in Michigan.)
• Forty-nine students earned passing scores on national certification exams in Culinary Arts Technology and Information Technology.