NEW LONDON, Wis. (WFRV) – A New London High School program that prepares students for careers in the skilled trades is getting even better.

About 340 students enrolled in at least one of the program’s 18-course options this year. Students like Noah Furman say he wants to follow in the footsteps of his dad and become an electrician.

“It’s fun, you can learn life skills here,” explained Furman.

Another student, Raquel Welch, says she first took classes in New London’s Career and Technical Education program (CTE) because she wanted to try something new. She says she really enjoys these classes and is now thinking about pursuing a career working on pipelines out West after she graduates high school.

“I’m a very hands-on learner, I don’t like to just sit at my desk I really just like to do something creative,” said Welch.

The CTE program has gotten several upgrades over the last few months.

These include updating 12 welding instructional stations, adding a defined area as a material spray booth, adding small engine lab lifts, upgrades to the computer lab classroom, exterior security fencing so students can do projects outside, and replacing CNC routers that cut wood and other materials.

“You get more hands-on time than waiting for a machine to be open,” explained Furman.

“Right now the trades are more in demand than they have ever been and we can get students a head start over other schools and employed in better jobs,” said Bryce Jaglinski, who is one of the CTE program’s instructors.

Jaglinski says students are realizing that there is a great career pathway for those pursuing the skilled trades. He also says the jobs pay well and students can learn the skills they need to pursue this career without going into debt.

Eight of the courses in the CTE program earn students dual-credit opportunities at Fox Valley Technical College.