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Morning Brew Recap with Trent Bellingar and Joe Barr

Recap of Community Connection Event with Trent Bellingar, CTE Director Delta-Schoolcraft Career and Technical Education & Joe Barr, College Adviser, Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District.

In May, the Morning Brew featured guests were Trent Bellinger and Joe Barr, who joined us to discuss all things related to Career and Technical Education (CTE).

Overview of CTE:

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is designed to assist students in developing the skills needed to succeed in vital, in-demand careers. The program offers courses in Automotive, Building Trades, Health Occupations, Welding, Product Design, Careers in Education, and other areas. Students can earn credentials, participate in on-the-job training, and earn college credit.

Trent also noted that these opportunities provide students with the ability to determine what career paths they do not want to pursue, which is just as important as identifying their preferred career paths. By experiencing various fields through job shadowing, internships, and work-based learning, students can make more informed decisions about their futures. This process helps them avoid investing time and resources into careers that may not align with their interests or strengths, ultimately guiding them towards more fulfilling and suitable career choices.


The primary funding mechanism for this program is a millage amounting to .9003 mills, generating about $1.2 million annually. These funds are allocated to the Delta-Schoolcraft ISD to offer programming within the geographical area.

Trent also reported additional funding sources, such as a recent appropriation of $1.4 million in Congressionally Directed Spending, supported by Senator Gary Peters and Jack Bergman, along with a $500,000 donation from the Daniel J. Kobasic Foundation. These funds will be utilized to finance a 3,600 square-foot expansion in Delta County to house machining, welding, and product design and development.


During our meeting, we explored the programming available to students at Manistique Area Schools, including:

  • Building Trades: Offered to students as a two-hour block, providing basic skills necessary to work in this field. Students participate in a variety of classroom and field activities. In 2023, students constructed a building for the Schoolcraft County Clay Busters youth shotgun club.
  • Health Occupations: A two-hour block focused on preparing students for careers in healthcare. This program involves students working at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, Medicare, and in the classroom. Participants have the opportunity to obtain their CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) certification free of charge. Recently, students were provided the opportunity to job shadow in the ER Department of Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital.

Other programming offered in Schoolcraft County includes Automotive and Careers in Education, along with work-based learning and job shadowing opportunities in partnership with local employers.

College Credits & Credentials:

CTE provides students the opportunity to earn career-specific credentials such as Certified Nursing Assistant, Child Development Associate, and American Welding Society certifications. Additionally, if students complete the CTE programming, their grades are sent to Bay College as college credits.

Community Involvement:

When asked what the community could do to support the CTE program, both Trent and Joe praised the community participation and opportunities provided to students, citing The Grind Coffee House, various work-based learning opportunities, and community events such as the recent career fair.

Trent encouraged interested parties to continue engaging area youth, involving students in community events, volunteer activities, and work-based learning opportunities to create a stronger sense of belonging and inclusion.

Employers were encouraged to reach out directly to explore work-based learning or job shadowing opportunities, which help students make long-term career decisions. Trent emphasized the importance of students exploring various career paths while in school, noting that discovering paths they are not interested in is just as important as exploring those they are interested in.

Job Posting:

Trent reported that the ISD is seeking to fill two open positions in Schoolcraft County: a full-time Building Trades Instructor and a part-time Automotive Instructor. We discussed the importance of these instructors, noting their meaningful role in students’ lives, serving as program instructors and mentors.

In conclusion, we thoroughly enjoyed this discussion and came away with a greater understanding of the programming offered to students, how employers can get involved, and the immense value of on-the-job training. Trent and Joe provided valuable insights into the diverse opportunities available through CTE, highlighting how these programs equip students with practical skills and real-world experience. We learned how employers can actively contribute to the development of the future workforce by offering internships, job shadowing, and work-based learning opportunities. This collaboration between education and industry not only benefits students but also strengthens the community by fostering a skilled and well-prepared workforce.


The purpose of Morning Brew is to foster connections within the community, encouraging participants to interact with local leaders, business owners, and hometown heroes. Hosted at The Grind Coffee House, these events serve as a platform for meaningful discussions about current events and development in our community. Learn more.

Article by, Jennifer C. Watson, CEO, of Limestone FCU 

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