MANSFIELD, La. (KSLA) - Students in DeSoto Parish interested in getting into the electrical field now have the opportunity to do that while in high school.
The State of Louisiana recently approved a new electrician pathway for students to get training and hands on skills with local electricians.
“It has a starting salary of anywhere from $35,000 to $70,000 a year is what the state is telling us,” said College and Career Readiness Coordinator Josh Dahlem. “Now in reality we know our students won’t make $70,000 a year fresh out, but it’s something nice for them to talk about.”
Dahlem recently became certified to help teach the course and says students will have computer based training, experience labs and get more hands on opportunities as well.
Mansfield High School senior Eddie Sanders is one of the first students to sign up for this new pathway.
“I thought about something different that I could take on in school, and I want to get as much as I can while I’m in school,” he said. “Once I get out I’ll have different stuff to choose from — and that’s what made me curious about it.”
This pathway is part of a program offered by the state called Jump Start. School districts from across the state can participate and allow students who might not be going to a four year university right after high school the opportunity to gain career and technical education.
Students that complete the program will be able to obtain certifications and credentials in high wage career sectors.
In DeSoto Parish high school juniors and seniors can pick from different graduation pathways that focus on jobs in culinary, welding, hospitality, internet web foundations and more.
“What we’re wanting to do is give our students the basic skills to where when they graduate from high school if they want to go to a trade school or a community college to get that two year degree they can,” Dahlem said. “But we also want them to have the skills that they can go get a high wage, high demand job with what we can offer.”
Dr. Vera-Zee Morgan is a guidance counselor at Mansfield High School and says many of the students she speaks with really enjoy the pathways offered by the district.
“If they know they’re working on something that interests them it may have an impact after school that may get them here just a little earlier, (or) maybe (get them) a little more excited about school and even encourage them to graduate,” she said.
DeSoto Parish students interested in this pathway or others available can speak to their school counselors to get signed up.