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Part II: Portage Health Foundation and CCISD Working in Tandem to Retain a Young Copper Country Workforce

On the technical career side, the Copper Country Intermediate School District has a large role to play. Through the CCISD’s Career and Technical Education program, they can offer a wide variety of future career options for students to explore. The district would like to begin focusing on how to keep students coming back home to build their careers.

Some of the things we’re doing at the CTE Center now. We’re just finishing up a project. We’ve expanded some classrooms. We’re trying to stat a business program. We’re expanding our health careers program to do EKG certification, and we put a lab there. We’re taking the print shop, that’s currently at the CCISD building right now. We’re re-locating it to the CTE Center. With the hope that we can tie that with the graphic design program with Finalnda. – Jim Rautiola, Superintendent CCISD

One of the Copper Country Intermediate School District’s largest challenges to expanding their CTE options, is a lack of available staff to lead programs. And CCISD is working on overcoming that challenge, by introducing a program designed for students interested in going into education, to shadow teachers in the CCISD’s early childcare program. Such a program would allow students to gain real world experience in teaching/childcare prior to going on to gain higher education. Giving them time to decide if pursuing a career in teaching is right for them. This strategy plays the long game, as CCISD hopes to retain those interested students, to eventually become teachers in local school districts.

By opening up opportunities for students to explore career options, advocating for more leadership opportunities and increasing financial literacy. As well as continuing existing programs at Portage Health Foundation and CCISD, the goal is to build a strong base of young people who desire to come back home and build careers and lives in the area. By working in tandem, both CCISD and the Portage Health Foundation hope to retain a young workforce in the region.

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