HISTORY & PURPOSE
Discussions and planning for the Hopkins County Career & Technology Center (HCCTC) began in 2009. At that time, Hopkins County School District officials noted that only a handful of students from Hopkins County Central High School (HCCHS) and Madisonville-North Hopkins High School (MNHHS) attended technical programs at Madisonville Community College (MCC). Their analysis demonstrated that high school students experienced considerable barriers to entry (such as difficulties in scheduling between the District and MCC, differences in academic calendars, complications in transportation, and ever-shifting admission criteria).
Simultaneously, the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet was beginning to place renewed emphasis on Career & Technical Education (CTE), mirroring what was a national resurgence in CTE. Former Cabinet Secretary Helen W. Mountjoy called for the state to nurture a CTC that "complements the regular high school curriculum and offers students the chance to explore career options before graduation." Supporting this aim was research from the Gates Foundation, which determined that a significant majority of students who failed to complete high school subsequently identified that access to "more real-world learning" would have been an incentive for them to have completed their secondary education.
Thus, improved access to CTE was crucial to improving the conditions of secondary education and workforce development in the Madisonville region, but significant barriers existed between local high school students and available CTE options and programs.
The HCCTC emerged as the bridge between the two. District officials conceived it as a state-of-the-art facility, dedicated exclusively to career and technology programs, that would serve students from both HCCHS and MNHHS. Additionally, the HCCTC would work in partnership with MCC to ensure a smooth transition into the postsecondary education experience. HCCTC students would also be better prepared for immediate entry into the workforce, would be more productive citizens, and would be better equipped for lifelong learning.
In designing the HCCTC, District officials made team visits to existing CTE sites in Scott, Shelby, Jessamine, Warren, Barren, Henderson, and Muhlenburg Counties. Emerging from their efforts is the facility that now proudly stands along Patriot Drive in Madisonville, just off Interstate-69/Exit 114, and housed within it are programs in Health Science (equipped through major donations by Baptist Health), Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Pre-engineering, Automotive Technology, Industrial Manufacturing & Energy Management, Information Technology, and Business Education. The building spans some 40,000 square feet and contains a conference center with full kitchen (equipped by Brother's BBQ) that is open and available to the public. The HCCTC is led by its inaugural principal, Pam Todd, who brings to this role three decades of experience in secondary education in Hopkins County.
To learn more about reserving the HCCTC conference space: please click here.