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More than 30 area business and community leaders attended a "Business at Breakfast" event Thursday at the Chambers County Career Tech Center, hosted jointly by the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce. Shown above, Career Tech Director Ken Sealy led participants on a tour of the facility following a presentation highlighting its 40-year history.

            LaFAYETTE, AL – The Chambers County Career Tech Center, in conjunction with the Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, hosted a Business at Breakfast event Thursday that also included tours of the facility.

             Originally constructed in 1977 to provide technical education in key career fields, the center has evolved over the years to become a state-of-the-art, high-tech institution of learning that provides students the skills and knowledge necessary for jobs in greatest demand.

             “At the present time, there are approximately 500 jobs available in our local employment area that require a level of expertise in engineering, advanced electronics and computer programming,” said Ken Sealy, director of the center. “We are continuously modifying our programs and equipment to insure our students are prepared to enter today’s challenging career fields.”

             Participating high school and middle school students in grades 8 through 12 are transported by bus to the center each weekday, where they receive specialized, hands-on instruction in agriculture construction, horticulture, automotive technology, teacher education, information technology, cosmetology, health science, industrial systems, precision machining, pre-engineering/construction and business.

             “Our current student population is about 600,” said Sealy. “They come at various times of the day according to class schedules at their respective schools. It’s like a dance that we have to choreograph Monday through Friday.”

             In addition to the instruction students receive at the local campus, many are given the opportunity to test their acquired skills in regional, state and national competitions with their peers from other facilities. They raise their own money for travel expenses through businesses they create and manage themselves.

                “We are extremely fortunate to have the Career Tech Center in Chambers County, where we’re able to provide our young people the skills and knowledge they need to become successful,” said Chambers County School Superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge. “Some of the classes even earn college credit through Southern Union State Community College, so we always encourage more students to take advantage of these extraordinary opportunities.”

            Participating schools currently include Valley, Lanett and LaFayette high schools, Chambers Academy, and W. F. Burns, Five Points and J. P. Powell middle schools.

            For more information about the Chambers County Career Tech Center, go online to, or call 334-864-8863.

By David Bell

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