C-9 student gains crucial technical skills

Jaelyn Reynolds, Page Editor

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Senior Walker Parker spends the later hours of the school day working at Lion’s Head Precision Machining, where he bends sheet metal and punches out pieces for parts. And he is able to do this due to the school’s partnership with the Central Nine Career Center, located in Johnson County. 

“At C-9 I already have an entire career with me,” Parker says. “I go to work after fourth period instead of C-9 because I have an internship through them working a job making fourteen dollars an hour doing what I learned at C-9.” 

Parker is one of around 150 students, according to guidance director Brad Miller, who attend Central Nine for a head start in their careers of choice. Graduates go on to work in the medical, construction, manufacturing, and cosmetology fields, among others.

According to the center’s website, they are “dedicated to providing its local high school students with life changing career and technical educational experiences that assist them in meeting Graduation Pathway requirements and lead them to the workforce and college as informed, innovative, and professional citizens with career goals.”

The program is seen as a gateway to careers that are better suited for apprenticeships and hands on learning. 

“I feel like students who cannot sit down in a chair for eight hours a day doing absolutely nothing with their time have a much better chance to learn something and find something they’re good at, a real profession in the work world, when they go to C-9,” Parker says.