Dist. 88 CTE Center takes shape in former Windings site

Drill presses are part of the equipment in the larger area of the CTE Center.

Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students with academic and technical skills, knowledge and training to succeed in future careers and become lifelong learners. ISD 88 Supt. Jeff Bertrang said he’s hearing that CTE jobs are in high demand and not enough employees are available.


Located in the former Windings Inc. building at 208 Valley St. N., the new District 88 CTE Center, donated by Carol and Roger Ryberg and daughter Susan, provides high school students in all New Ulm high schools with exposure and access to careers available in the region, allowing them to earn credentials and certifications before leaving high school.

The CTE Center will also provide adults a place to re-certify, retrain and gain technical skills needed to pursue a new trade or technical career.

New Ulm Public Schools hosts an open house at the CTE Center, 12:30 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Dist. 88 Supt. Jeff Bertrang, right, leads a CTE Center private tour of a drafting classroom.

Presentations at the start of the open house will detail center development, the community support to help get it off the ground, and the number of workforce programs offered.

Guided tours will be provided. Guests can interact with students to hear what they are learning in the skilled trades.

Students began CTE classes this fall.

“This is a great facility donated by the Ryberg family,” Dist. 88 Supt. Jeff Bertrang told a private tour group at the CTE Oct. 7. “Community support so far includes funds for remodeling from New Ulm Economic Development Corp., New Ulm EDA with start-up help, and a great effort from the community through the CTE Center Capital Campaign.”

With more than 30,000 square feet, CTE classes this fall include small gas engine and ATV repair, machining, milling, welding and fabrication in the largest part of the building. Second semester offerings in that area will be automotive repair and auto body work.

A number of rotary lifts are used for motor vehicle repair classes.

Eagle Enterprises, a student-run business, offers CTE classes for accounting, public relations, marketing, receiving, accounts receivable and payable, drafting, dumpster repair, t-shirt and sweatshirt silk-screening, engraving and flower arrangements.

Robotics and wood shop classrooms are also being used. Other offerings cabinetry and construction trades including furniture making.

“There are 60 juniors and seniors take advanced and accelerated classes here each day. There is a block in the morning and afternoon,” Bertrang said. “Introductory classes are in the high school.”

Dist. 88 has received more than $2,000,000 in community support for the CTE. Contributors include the New Ulm Economic Development Authority (EDA), New Ulm Economic Development Corp. (NUEDC), and donations from the Rybergs, businesses, industries and individuals.

For information on the CTE Center Capital Campaign, visit www.isd88foundation.org/cte/

New Ulm Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Michael Looft looks at wooden puzzles during the Oct. 7 CTE private tour.

The school district is conducting a special election Tuesday, Nov. 2 to ask voters two questions: 1. To revoke and replace current referendums in place. 2. To ask for support that would provide more funds for CTE programs.

The two current voter approved referendums generate $1.8 million annually to support student programs. Many programs support students and families with unique needs in order to learn and grow.

State and federal requirements for specific programs are not fully funded, requiring the school district to spend more than $2.2 million from its general fund annually.

The school district has a referendum question expiring after this school year and another the following year. In order to renew the first question, the election has to occur this fall.

There is only one polling place for all voters in the election: the New Ulm Community Center, 600 German St. N. Election voting is 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee voting is available 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Dist. 88 office, 414 Payne St. S. until the day before the election.

The CTE Center is housed in the former Windings Inc. building 208 Valley St. N.

A referendum informational meeting begins at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 25 in the New Ulm High School Auditorium, 1600 Oak St. More election information can be found at www.newulm.k12.


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