Vocational center hosts open house
A high school vocational center focused on technology is hosting an open house for the community this week — and marking a decade of serving the area.
The Muskegon Area Career Tech Center in Muskegon, or MACTC, is celebrating its 10th anniversary by inviting the community to explore the nearly 73,000-square-foot facility during an open house this Thursday from 5-7 p.m., at 200 Harvey St.
Stephanie Hoekenga, student outreach and resource specialist at MACTC, said the center conducts an open house every year to show the public what their tax dollars are supporting and to give students a chance to learn more about the available programming.
“It is an opportunity to inform the public about what really goes on here. It is not the vocational center of 50 years ago, our students are working in high-tech labs,” said Hoekenga. “It is kind of a celebration of how we have grown and have been supporting the community.”
During the open house the public will be able to tour the technical education classrooms and labs, view student-designed projects on display, and travel to a nearby site at 2476 Chestnut Trail to view the progress of a student-built home.
Students and staff from the different programs offered by the MACTC will be present during the open house, and representatives from local colleges, universities, trade schools and the military will be on-site as well. The event also will have refreshments, samples of a recipe featured at “Chef Prize,” and giveaway prizes.
The MACTC offers 16 programs to high school juniors and seniors in the Muskegon area in a variety of disciplines. Some of the classes include allied health technology, auto service technology, business careers, catering and culinary management, computer-aided design, construction trades, criminal justice, graphic production technologies and welding technology.
Although some students from the MACTC continue their education outside of the region, Hoekenga said a number of students are now working and serving at organizations in the Muskegon area.
“We are a great feeder for so many businesses in town. It is great for our local economy as well as for the students,” said Hoekenga. “It is a nice bridge between high school and college; they get the independence and confidence they need to go out into the world and be ready.”
The career and technical education center originally opened in 2005 after voters in Muskegon County passed a vocational millage in 2002 supporting the creation of the MACTC and through a partnership with Muskegon Community College. The MACTC now serves more than 800 high school students each day.