55th Anniversary

TCC hosts 55th-anniversary tour during CTE month
Posted on 02/15/2022
PLTW computer science instructor Michael Barrett demonstrates a triple-pronged claw.

The Poplar Bluff Technical Career Center held an open house for stakeholders on Friday, Feb. 11, in celebration of its 55th anniversary as a school facility during Career and Technical Education month.

Since the TCC opened in 1967, over 4,500 regional high schoolers have completed programs tuition-free there in addition to at least 500 adult students recorded, Director Charles Kinsey told an audience of community leaders and educators, both current and retired.

“The nation’s skills gap is getting close to a critical state, if not already in disarray [on top of] the global pandemic, and has been fueling a renewed interest in CTE by elected officials and prospective students alike,” Kinsey wrote in a column series being published this month.

The TCC is resultantly experiencing record enrollment, as its sending schools have expanded to 10, including newly-forged partnerships with Dexter Schools and Westwood Baptist. The TCC boasts a graduation rate of 98.3 percent, and a placement rate—alumni entering the workforce, joining the military or continuing their education—of 89.97 percent, according to Kinsey.

“Desirable students have work ethic, show up and are teachable, plus have a base set of skills that make them functional on the job on day one – with minimal training,” Kinsey stated in another installment.

The guests of honor toured the facilities, and learned about the $1.4 million in improvements over the last few years, according to Kinsey’s estimates. In attendance, former director Roger Slayton noted that he was responsible for the grant through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that established the east building in 2001, housing the then-new cosmetology program as well as the welding and auto collision repair programs.

Today the TCC also offers auto service technology, building trades, computer graphics & print technology, computer maintenance technology, computer science, culinary arts, health occupations and HVACR. Kinsey, who has dedicated 25 years to CTE both as a student and an educator, pointed out that five of his current instructors are alumni of the TCC, and the remaining six were involved in programs at other schools or else worked in the field.

To become an advisory committee member over one of the programs, or for additional information about the TCC’s various offerings, call 573-785-2248.

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Cutline: PLTW computer science instructor Michael Barrett demonstrates a triple-pronged claw created in his class.

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