June 2019
Volum e 3, Issue 6
2018- 2019
Berrien County Career & Technical Education
By: Chris Machiniak, CTE Regional Director

Berrien County Career & Technical Education (CTE) is a collaborative effort (Public Act 56) by all of our local district partners to ensure as a county we have multiple career pathways available for our students. This school year our county held 63 CTE programming opportunities within our local high schools, community college campuses and in utilizing municipality buildings from our local communities. Approximately 2,500 students participated in CTE programming with roughly 350 of those students leaving their home districts to take advantage of programming offered by another Berrien County district. This year:

The Berrien RESA CTE Department works with our local districts to create, plan and implement multiple events throughout the year to benefit both our students as well as our faculty.
  • 180 students participated in career tours held at AEP Cook Nuclear, Spectrum Health of Lakeland, and Whirlpool Corporation.
  • Coordinate CTE program bus tours for local administrators, counselors, directors and industry members that would like to get a first hand look as to what is taking place within our programming.
  • Collaboration with Kinexus during Manufacturing Week resulted in 20-plus local employers visiting our programs within our high schools.
  • 1,500 high school freshmen participated in our first Career Pathway Day event hosted in partnership with Lake Michigan College.
  • 9 professional development sessions were held within our local districts on topics such as CIP-Self Review and KHAN Academy.
  • 6 professional development sessions were held at Berrien RESA where Work-based Learning, Transportation, New Program application as well as the Carl Perkins grant were covered.
  • Many other individual meetings, program visits and professional development training took place in smaller settings throughout the year.

Next school year, it is estimated that 430 students will take advantage of classes offered at other site. With Berrien County CTE program participants having a 96.9 percent graduation rate and a placement rate (students continue into post-secondary, workforce, military, etc...) of 96 percent, our CTE programming options continue to be of benefit to students.

We look forward to opening several new programs next year and continuing to work collaboratively with our local districts to expand our CTE programming.
Supporting the Districts
By: Kelly Dargus, CTE/Perkins Consultant

The CTE staff at Berrien RESA recognize the difficulty of your jobs, working in the classroom with students/counseling students, and dealing with other administrative duties. Our role is to supplement your needs and be there to offer support, maintain communication and answer any questions. 

Some of our responsibilities include;
  • Representing you at MDE/OCTE and CEPD meetings. This information is then brought back and shared at monthly CTE Director, Counselor, Principal and Superintendent meetings.
  • Providing professional development and support through:
  • Countywide PD Day in August
  • CIP-Self Review
  • Work-Based Learning
  • Program visits
  • Career/Industry Tours
  • District PD Days/Board meetings
  • Coordination of Added Cost, Perkins and 61c Equipment Grant Funding
Please feel free to contact any one of our staff members if you need assistance or have ideas that you wish to share.
Opening session at the Countywide Professional Development Day was attended by over 70 staff, local industry and other integral community members.
Legislative Update from Senator John Proos
Equipment Purchases for CTE Programming
By: Chris Machiniak, CTE Regional Director
Over the past several years the Legislature has opened up the 61c Equipment Grant to local districts with the intention of focusing on CTE programming for the purchase of equipment for high-skill, high-demand career areas.

Utilizing our program advisory committees to assist districts with equipment purchases that would benefit our students throughout our programming, we have been able to purchase high-cost equipment items that immediately impacts the career opportunities for our students.

This year, between the 61c Equipment Grant and the Perkins Grant, we were able to fund 16 requests from 8 of our school districts.

Last year (2017-2018) we were able to award 13 requests for equipment going to 7 school districts.

***Photos showcase a few of the purchased items from this year.
Saw Stop
New Buffalo Construction Trades Program
MILO Range Pro Interactive System
Berrien Springs EMT and Criminal Justice Programs
Biomedical Analysis Equipment
Buchanan's Sports Medical Program
Coloma Auto Program
Auto Scanner
Coloma's Automotive Program
CNC Lathe
Brandywine's Mechanical Drafting Program
Coloma PHCA Program
Patient Lift
Coloma's PHCA Program
Vital Sign Monitor
St. Joseph's Intro to Nursing Program
Coloma - Engineering Program
Robotic Arm
Coloma's Engineering Program
Spotlight on CTE Events for 2018-2019
Bringing to light CTE's unique opportunities and activities
Career Tours
By: Kelly Dargus, CTE/Perkins Consultant

Over 180 students from 9 local districts participated in Career Tours throughout the year. These tours focused on the many different career opportunities available for our students, specifically addressing non-traditional career options.
Product testing at Whirlpool
Global products on display.
S afety first at the Cook Nuclear Plant.
Plant simulator control panel.
A behind the scenes look at Spectrum Health Lakeland's ER.
Students hearing about potential job opportunities
Manufacturing Week Tours
By: Chris Machiniak, CTE Regional Director
For the past 5 years, Berrien County CTE programs participated in Manufacturing Day coordinated through Kinexus. This year, because of overwhelming response and interest, the 6th Annual Manufacturing Day event expanded into "Manufacturing Week" and featured both industry student tours as well as industry members touring local CTE programs at Lakeshore and Coloma high school.

The manufacturing industry in southwest Michigan employs approximately 18,500 people and is a $2.9 billion industry. Manufacturing Week allows companies to showcase their products and facilities and is a key factor to help students explore the job opportunities that offer a high-wage and have a high-demand in their own backyards.

Students were invited to visit several manufactures to see and experience what is fabricated in our area. This included over 12 companies in three counties, 8 of them in Berrien County alone. Over 1,000 students participated in this event!
North County CTE Bus Tour
By: Kelly Dargus, CTE/Perkins Consultant
CTE program bus tours are always a highlight of each school year. Instructors and students look forward to showcasing their programs, demonstrating newly learned skills and sharing post-secondary opportunities with the group. Tour attendees get a first hand look at the MANY Career and Technical Education programs offered throughout Berrien County. This past year, local counselors, administrators, CTE directors and staff toured EMT, Fire, Criminial Justice, Culinary, Commercial Art, Machine Tool, Welding, Automotive, Mechanical Drafting, Education, Certified Nursing Assistant, Agri-Science and Allied Health programs at local high schools within northern Berrien County.

If you haven't had the chance to attend a tour in the past, please join us this fall as we travel on a comfortable Cardinal bus and visit south County programs. All are welcome to attend these events!
Fire Fighting Demo
Showcasing the new AgScience building
Welding Program Walk through
Certified Nursing Assistant Program
Advanced Automotive Demo
Emergency Medical Technician Demo
National CTE Month
By: Kelly Dargus, CTE/Perkins Consultant
New Buffalo's Construction Trades display for National CTE Month.

February was  National CTE Month ! Local districts were busy promoting their CTE programs to students, parents and staff. Some schools provided daily announcements about CTE, made bulletin boards or posters and had students speak about their CTE experiences.

Together, we are changing the perception of CTE! Career and Technical Education programming is for ALL students.
Pathway Day
Mfg Day - 3
First Annual Career Pathway Day
Submitted by: Chris Machiniak, CTE Regional Director

Career Pathway Day, hosted at Lake Michigan College’s Hanson Technology Center on February 22, 2019, was designed to help 9th grade students begin to identify their future career choices. The event also helped them determine how to prepare themselves for that career by aligning their high school and post-secondary education curriculum choices. They learned about the employment opportunities within the community that may help them with their future post-secondary training and education.

Countywide CTE programming, post-secondary pathways and employers were organized into sections based on Michigan’s six Career Pathways: Arts & Communication; Business, Management, Marketing, and Technology; Engineering, Manufacturing and Industrial Technology; Health Sciences; Human Services; and Natural Resources and Agri-science.
CTE Awards Night

By: Kelly Dargus, CTE/Perkins Consultant

It was a great night for Career and Technical Education students in Berrien County on May 2nd at the Mendel Center.

School districts honored 63 outstanding CTE students who also received scholarships from Lake Michigan College during the 30th annual awards celebration. 9 business partners were also honored for their dedication and support of CTE programming. We also recognized 6 5th Year Early/Middle College students from Cohort 1 who graduated with an associate degree this year.

We are all very proud of ALL of our students and instructors throughout Berrien County.
Counselor Connection
Year In Review
By: Kelly Dargus, CTE/Perkins Consultant
On May 14 we wrapped up the Counselor Meetings for the 2018-19 school year. Deputy Kelly Laesch shared hot topics and information on the county's Crime Prevention Unit. We were fortunate to have a wide variety of guest speakers attend our meetings this year! Topics covered during the 8 scheduled meetings included: Crisis Team procedures, Career Cruising/EDP training, LGBTQ, industry, military & internship options, digital health & wellness, mental health, transition programming and drug abuse.

Counselors were able to obtain 25 general Committee SCECHs for attending meetings this year. Our goal for next year is to help counselors obtain specific career and college credit requirements as stated in the new counselor renewal law.
5th Year Early/Middle College
Year in Review

By: Melissa Springsteen
5th Year Early/Middle College Consultant

May 2019 brought our first graduating class. A total of 36 associate degrees were awarded. Congratulations Class of 2019!

  • Class of 2020: 50 students
  • Class of 2021: 59 Students
  • Class of 2022: 59 Students

July will be a busy month with the Class of 2021 Re-Boot being held on July 10, 2019 and the College Success Bootcamp for the Class of 2022 being held July 15-19, 2019.

We are also excited that we will be adding another layer of support for our E/MC students with the addition of an adult mentor. Students will have regular meeting times with the mentor during the school year.

A big thanks goes out to everyone involved with the E/MC program for another great year! We could not do it without your support!
Contact Melissa Springsteen at
(269) 471-7725 Ext. 1304, if you have questions.
Have an suggestion for the CTE Newsletter? Please contact Chris Machiniak .
PA56 Nondiscrimination Statemen t
It is the policy of the PA56 Consortium members that no person on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, weight, height, marital status, gender expression, judicial record, disability, and/or any other legally protected characteristic shall be bullied and/or discriminated against. This includes exclusion from participation in, benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any state or federally funded program or activity for which the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency or any member of the PA56 Consortium is responsible, or for which it receives state or federal financial assistance from the Department of Education.  In addition to the above statement, arrangements may be made to ensure that language skills are not a barrier to admission or participation in Career & Technical Education programs within the Berrien County PA56 Consortium.
Berrien Regional Education Service Agency
PO Box 364
711 St. Joseph Avenue
Berrien Springs, MI 49103-1583
(269) 471-7725

The views and perspectives shared in this
publication do not necessarily reflect those of the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency, affiliated schools, staff or board members.

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For additional information on Berrien County Career and Technical Education, visit our website at:
Chris Machiniak
CTE Regional Director

Mona Hunter
CTE Assistant

Kelly Dargus
CTE/Perkins Consultant

Melissa Springsteen
5th Year E/MC Consultant