OGDEN — High school students and their parents walked between tables Wednesday night at Ogden-Weber Tech’s open house, collecting information on the careers available to those who train in construction, manufacturing, information technology, culinary arts, health and service careers.
“It’s a very good turnout,” said Jennifer Streker, Information Technology and Business program director. “The weather is bad, but it looks like maybe we have a few more than normal.”
Ogden resident Julie Tovar came with grandson Jesse Mendez, 16, who hopes to learn drafting.
“He’s got one year of training under his belt, from ATC classes at Ben Lomond High,” Tovar said. “Jesse is very intelligent. I’m not getting any younger, and we want to help him find ways to better his life.”
Jesse was eager to tour the facilities.
“I enjoy design,” he said. “I want to get the training and the experience.”
Kimi Kopecky came with daughter McKenna, 16 and a student at Bonneville High.
“We’re just here to check out the options,” the elder Kopecky said. “It’s kind of cool. I didn’t know they had all these programs.”
Andrew Brown, a pre-enrollment and recruitment specialist at Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College (the ATC’s full name) made presentations to members of the gathered crowd, beginning a new session every 20 minutes, each time packing the classroom he used.
Brown said the three big reasons that teens should take classes at Ogden-Weber Tech are that tuition is free for students still in high school; skills, training and certificates program completion lead to a higher chance of employment; and Ogden-Weber Tech and Weber State University this year collaborated to create a new Associate of Applied Science degree.
“We’ve had so many people come by, looking at our programs,” said Elsa Zweifel, Ogden-Weber Tech spokeswoman, who estimated the crowd at about 400 people.
“Parents love the idea of free tuition during high school, but I’ve seen more students asking questions than parents. Parents want to know the (post high school) tuition costs, and what students have to take to complete the programs. Students want to know what they can do with the training. One student I talked to was interested in IT for film.”
To check out Ogden-Weber Tech’s website, visit www.owatc.edu.