EL MONTE – The El Monte Union High School District on Jan. 23 hosted its sixth annual Career Technical Education (CTE) Fair, providing middle school students a glimpse into the career opportunities and hands-on vocational courses they can begin exploring as soon as they begin freshman year.

El Monte middle school students met with CTE teachers and students from all five comprehensive El Monte Union high schools and the El Monte-Rosemead Adult School, as well as representatives from community colleges and District business partners. Representatives from the Early College Academy at South El Monte High School also were on hand to educate students on how they could earn free college credits while in high school.

“Career technical education is the launchpad to college and career, and we want our incoming students to see the diverse range of opportunities available to them across our schools,” El Monte Union Director of Curriculum and Instruction Hillary Wolfe said. “Our pathway programs are growing every year and the CTE Fair allows families to get a thorough overview of elective classes prior to registration.”

Taught by highly trained educators, El Monte Union CTE pathways concentrate on business/finance, engineering, arts/media/design, healthcare, hospitality/food service, building/construction, transportation and manufacturing. Courses are developed based on student interest, economic factors, local job opportunities and community partnerships.

Students receive real-world training and practical experiences, meet and network with industry professionals in diverse careers, and engage in academic and career-focused coursework.

“Until I enrolled in the manufacturing pathway, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after high school,” said South El Monte senior Jose Colis, who is in his second year in the manufacturing pathway. “Now I have college options and a job offer.”

The manufacturing pathway trains students for careers as CAD/CAM specialists, CNC machinists, manufacturing engineers and quality assurance technicians. Colis plans to study engineering in college and has already been offered a summer job at Lawrence Equipment, an El Monte Union business partner.

“I would recommend this pathway for people who want to know how to put things together or have creative ideas that they don’t quite know how to put into practice,” Colis said.

At El Monte High School, the patient care pathway begins with an introductory class that acquaints students with healthcare positions ranging from phlebotomist to physician’s assistant.

“A patient care pathway student can earn a phlebotomy or basic life support certificate while still in high school, enabling them to enter the workforce upon graduation,” El Monte High teacher Joseph Estrada said. “These students also work hard on their communication skills, which is essential for any profession.”

The event also featured representatives from Rio Hondo College, Cerritos College, Mt. SAC, Citrus College, Pasadena City College, L.A. Trade Tech and the L.A. County Library, as well as District business partners Citizen’s Business Bank, City of Hope, Decore-ative Specialties, Lawrence Equipment, BPACE Culinary Arts Academy and Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP).

“El Monte Union is deeply committed to ensuring our students are college and career ready by equipping them with the skills, knowledge and support they need to succeed in their postsecondary journeys – whether that’s in college, the workforce or both,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “We are excited to grow the educational pathways that will enable our students to explore in-demand professions and industries – helping the turn their passions into careers.”


013019_EMUHSD_CTEFAIR1: El Monte Union business students and teachers host an informational booth at the District’s annual CTE Fair, held Jan. 23 to provide middle school students the opportunity to learn more about the hands-on vocational courses they can take in high school.

013019_EMUHSD_CTEFAIR2: El Monte Union hosted its sixth annual CTE Fair on Jan. 23, welcoming eighth grade students from the local feeder school districts and providing them information on the career technical education pathways available at the comprehensive high schools.