Max Lambert is 18, he’s taking two Concord High School classes and five on-campus courses at Manchester Community College, he’s working an entry-level job at Grappone Auto Group and he spends part of his week interning with a master automotive technician at Grappone. In other words, he’s not your typical high school senior.
Lambert is an automotive technology student at the Concord Regional Technical Center, a high school career and technical education center attached to Concord High School that serves more than 650 students from nine regional school districts. His hybrid senior year is part of a new program called CRTC+, which is designed to provide students with targeted opportunities to forge deeper college and career connections that will smooth their transition from high school to whatever comes next.
“The different opportunities that CRTC has connected me to has opened up a whole new set of doors that I can now go through,” said Lambert, who after high school is hoping to fill one of the more than 400 open automotive technician jobs in the state paying up to $85,000 a year for a master technician.
Lambert’s parents said his enrollment in the CRTC has helped him connect to a career pathway and focus on his future in meaningful ways not available to him in his mainstream high school courses. Lambert has received $3,500 in scholarships from the National Auto Dealer’s Education Foundation by competing in National Auto Tech competitions, they said, and he will put this money toward his postsecondary education.
“Thanks to the CRTC, Max has gone from not wanting to turn a wrench at home to actively pursuing and planning for a career in automotive,” said Melinda Lambert, his mom. “We are happy that he has found a direction and that he’s proud of what he’s doing.”
Jessica Dade, assistant executive director and career coordinator for the NH Automotive Education Foundation, said the organization’s partnership with New Hampshire’s career and technical education system is a relationship that benefits both students and the industry.
“We are so very proud of Max Lambert’s success in the CRTC+ program,” Dade said. “While industry and education work together to create opportunities every day, we need more students like Max who will seize the initiative and take full advantage of these opportunities to fully realize their potential.”
The CRTC is one of 28 career and technical education centers across the state. These centers offer high school students a strategic approach to learning that partners with college and industry to connect classroom lessons to real-world applications through work-based learning opportunities, and by exposing students to job sites and career professionals. Most CTE students participate in job shadows or internships and can earn college credits and industry credentials before they graduate high school.
“The rapid pace of today’s economy means that we need to prepare our students to compete for jobs that don’t even exist yet. To accomplish this, we need to teach them to become agile, lifelong learners able to interpret and apply knowledge, solve problems, and collaborate and communicate well with others,” said Steve Rothenberg, CRTC director. “While some of these skills are learned in traditional classroom settings, collectively they form the very foundation of all CRTC curriculums.”
High school sophomores now are eligible to enroll in two-year CTE programs, providing them the unique opportunity to jumpstart college and career plans in their senior year.
“In our CRTC+ program, we work with seniors (who have completed a two-year CTE program) to design a custom schedule that goes beyond mainstream high school classes by blending advance coursework with deep, work-based learning experiences,” Rothenberg said.
Parents can find out more about the CRTC and take a closer look at its 11 career pathway programs, talk to teachers and students, and tour shops and classrooms at the upcoming CRTC Parent/Guardian Open House, on March 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Concord High School.
Looking back, Lambert said that joining the CRTC Automotive Technology program was a turning point in his high school career that gave him the focus and structured support he needed to prepare himself for success after graduation.
“I chose CRTC because it challenged me to try new things, apply myself in new ways, and to define my own future,” he said.
For more information on the CRTC Parent/Guardian Night, call 717-7654 or go to thecrtc.net.