Since 1958, Kalamazoo RESA Education for Employment (EFE) has operated under a de-centralized model of career and technical education. Courses are offered to Kalamazoo County high school students and held across the county in local school districts, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and onsite at industry locations.
Kalamazoo RESA has long understood that high-caliber education produces exceptional students who are prepared to thrive in a competitive, global economy.
In January 2019, 75 education, business and community members volunteered to create three Design Teams: Career Readiness & Exploration, High School Program Design and Community Collaboration. These teams engaged in research, data review, site visits and interviews, and their work ultimately led to specific recommendations for a new, world-class system of K-12+ career and technical education in Kalamazoo County. Full research, analysis and recommendations of the three Design Teams is outlined in the official May 2019 Community Report.
In November, 2019, Kalamazoo County voted strongly in favor of the Kalamazoo RESA Career & Technical Education (CTE) Millage proposal, which will provide the following:
- Increased equity, efficiency and quality of K-12+ CTE programming
- More career coaches exposing student to potential careers earlier in their education
- A centrally located career center with smaller satellite locations
- State-of-the-art technology and equipment to prepare students for high-demand, high-skill and high-wage careers
- More instructional support staff to help at-risk students and students with disabilities
- Additional training and support for students and families, including underrepresented populations
- More career planning, apprenticeships and work-based learning to help students choose the right careers
- More students earning credentials and certificates to meet the needs of employers
- Enhanced partnerships with employers and colleges to help prepare students for the 21st Century
- More young people equipped with the skills needed to earn a good living, allowing them to raise families in the area