By JEROD CLAPP
NEW ALBANY —
After watching students wire electronics, land planes in a simulator and work in a machine shop, he had some strong words about the Prosser Career Education Center in New Albany.
“I think this is a real model,” Pence said. “The people of this community should be very proud that the children of this community benefit every day, as well as our economy, because of what happens here.”
After a luncheon with the Windsor Group, an Indianapolis-based investment company, at the school, Pence took a tour of the facility.
Pence visited several classrooms in different programs for the school, including criminal justice and aviation.
Alan Taylor, director of the facility, said as Pence made his way through classrooms, he said he was happy he was able to show the governor the facility.
“I think he saw quality students and quality instructors,” Taylor said. “He saw quality in what we do. We’re proud and confident in the education we provide to students.”
Pence also talked with students at the school.
Principal Cathy Wheeler said as he spoke with them, they didn’t just talk about what they were doing, but where they wanted to go.
“He heard them say how many college credits they’ve earned, what certifications they hold,” Wheeler said. “What he saw really supports his vision for technical education.”
Taylor said even though Prosser offers some of the more traditional opportunities in fields such as automotive technology and machine shop, the education goes beyond getting students ready for jobs out of high school.
“Even though individuals think they know what goes on in a career center,” Taylor said, “until they see and hear and talk with people here, they don’t. This will hopefully help strengthen [Pence’s] vision for career and technical education.”
Pence said as he continues with the idea of getting Hoosiers in the job market and keeping them there, schools like Prosser could help put more people on that track.
“As I walk through hallways of Prosser, I feel like I’m walking through the hallways of Indiana’s education future,” Pence said. “To see the career education that takes place here on a regional basis, where young people can not only get training in what we traditionally think of in those areas ... but also health care careers, aviation careers, really gives you a sense of the range of opportunities that we can make available to high school students.”