MNCAPS building on trade schooling


MNCAPS Trades Pathway Students and Staff

Charlie Bauleke, Contributor

MNCAPS typically brings in students interested in a certain pathway. This year, new pathways have begun at MNCAPS, one of which is the Trades Pathway. 


For the first time, we now have a trade schooling option at PLHS.


Since 2018, Mr. Deutsch and district administrators have been pursuing a route for MNCAPS to add trade schooling as another pathway.


Trade school is an option for people who want to work a skilled labor job, and MNCAPS is allowing that opportunity. The students spend half of their day in this program learning about all different types of skilled labor and how to maximize their skills.


Because of a worldwide need for skilled tradespeople, graduates have a better job placement rate than a 4-year degree.


Trade school allows students to go to school and make money at the same time. It’s a very nice opportunity for students to be able to go into trades right after highschool. 


Mr. Deutsch said, “The trades pathway is so great because it can be from plumbing to owning your own business. It fits very well with a diverse population of students.”


Of course, this was a long process and it all started with touring other programs and seeing how they worked. “We figured out after touring and doing research ways that we could adapt and use that in the best way for our students,” Deutsch said.


There is a lack of skilled labor in our communities, and before Covid, the Trades Pathway was already planned. 


But, because the school was so weird, “A big challenge was getting kids to sign up. We only had 18 kids sign up so that wasn’t enough to run the program,” Deustch stated. This year, they offered the trades pathway again and reached the number needed to run the program.


Senior Sam Lissick explained how efficient the program has been for the first quarter of school so far, “I’m so happy I took this route because I’ve always wanted to go through the trade schooling program and it’s been very fun these first 5-6 weeks.”


The teachers running the trades program want to keep exposing students to the work force in order to best educate on employment opportunities.


A well-rounded experience is vital to the success of the program. “I want the students that live down in the Fab Lab to know that they are cared about and that they are really important to our society,” Deutsch said. 


A majority of students enjoy the workload and content. “It’s just fun and a different experience than the normal school I’ve been used to, and it’s fun to get a little switch,” Lissick said.


As the years go on, teachers want to keep improving the new trades MNCAPS Trades Pathway program. They intend to keep building on the awesome new program. Students in the pathway think it’s awesome and encourage others to consider trades and the MNCAPS pathway as an opportunity for their future at PLHS.

used with permission from Ms. McDermott