June 22, 2023


Holland, MI- Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) is excited to announce its ambitious plans to expand career and technical education (CTE) offerings, catering to the increasing demand from students, parents and employers throughout the Ottawa region. This expansion aligns with OAISD's strategic plan goal of providing multiple pathways for student success, broadening opportunities, and eliminating barriers and opportunity gaps to ensure that every student achieves their full potential.

According to OAISD Associate Superintendent of Career and Technical Education Dave Searles, the district’s CTE programming aims to empower students by offering them diverse career pathways, practical experience, and essential skills needed for success in the modern workforce. 

“Recognizing the value of these programs, the demand for Careerline Tech Center has grown steadily over the years, resulting in a significant waitlist for 11th and 12th-grade students. However, we are witnessing an unprecedented surge in interest, with hundreds of students eager to join the programs this upcoming fall of 2023,” Searles said.

To address this growing demand, OAISD is implementing several initiatives:

Careerline Tech Center 3rd Session Pilot Programs 

Starting in fall 2023, a 3rd session pilot program will be introduced at Careerline Tech Center offering scheduling flexibility and allowing more students to participate in the programs. The 3rd session will run from 3:15 to 5:15 PM, Monday through Thursday, throughout the academic year. Enrollment began in April for four state-approved CTE programs: Cyber Security (IT: Network & Security), Electrical, Graphic Design, and Mechatronics & Robotics. Students may enroll now for 3rd session programs at  CareerlineTech.org.

Careerline Tech Center Health Sciences Campus 

Looking ahead to fall 2025, Careerline Tech Center has ambitious plans to establish a Health Sciences campus by renovating existing OAISD facilities. This expansion will create space for additional program offerings that align with future-focused industry needs and student interests. Renovated health sciences classrooms at the Tech Center will accommodate new programs, providing more students with access to career tech ed experiences and the opportunity to earn low-cost or no-cost college credits and industry certifications.

Work-Based Learning Partnerships Expansion 

OAISD recognizes the importance of real-world, on-the-job training for students. The district provided over 1,000 Careerline Tech Center students with work-based learning opportunities through partnerships with local employers during the 2022-23 academic year alone. To strengthen this initiative further, OAISD has forged extensive partnerships with local school districts, expanding regional work-based learning support and increasing the number of students who can access these valuable experiences. Through internships, apprenticeships, mentorship programs, and more, students gain practical insights into different industries and develop crucial workplace skills, empowering them to make informed decisions about their future career paths and continued education.

Web-Based Student/Employer Matching Tool 

OAISD has recently incorporated EmergeSkilled, an online tool that connects students with entry-level career opportunities. Students can create profiles showcasing their skills and experience, which are then matched with employer profiles using sophisticated algorithms. This tool simplifies the process of connecting employers with suitable candidates, making it easier for students and employers to find the best fit. 

OAISD remains committed to fostering partnerships with employers to prepare students for the evolving workforce. By actively engaging with employers, OAISD can align programs and curricula with industry needs, ensuring that students are equipped with relevant skills and knowledge required in the job market. 

“The expanded offerings will empower students to secure higher-earning and more fulfilling job opportunities, ultimately contributing to the overall prosperity of their families and the community as a whole,” Searles added.

OAISD Superintendent Dr. Kyle Mayer says the district is committed to broadening opportunities, building support systems, and eliminating barriers and opportunity gaps so that all students can achieve their full potential.

“Addressing long-term facility needs is a priority for us,” Mayer said. “We understand the importance of forward-thinking planning and mechanisms that can evolve as needs emerge. By taking a proactive approach to facility planning, we can ensure that our students have access to modern and conducive learning environments.”

Mayer also points to innovation as a core mindset at OAISD. “We believe in turning challenges into opportunities and transforming ideas into creative solutions. We encourage and foster an innovative culture within our organization as we learn, serve and lead, constantly seeking new ways to improve and adapt to the evolving needs of our students and community,” Mayer said.

About Careerline Tech Center

Operated by Ottawa Area ISD, Careerline Tech Center (CTC) prepares high school juniors and seniors for tomorrow's workforce by providing career and technical education in more than 25 career areas. CTC serves students from public and private high schools, as well as those who are homeschooled, within the following local school districts: Allendale, Coopersville, Grand Haven, Hamilton, Holland, Hudsonville, Jenison, Saugatuck, Spring Lake, West Ottawa and Zeeland. www.CareerlineTech.org

About Ottawa Area Intermediate School District
Ottawa Area ISD works collaboratively with schools and communities to meet the educational needs of students of all ages in the Ottawa area. By pooling resources and providing services regionally, Ottawa Area ISD provides important programs and services to local K‐12 school districts, charter, and faith-based schools and adults in the most cost‐effective ways possible. To learn more about Ottawa Area ISD, visit www.oaisd.org