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May 24, 2014 12:48 AM by Sam Salzwedel

High school grads ready for real world

TUCSON - New graduates from Pima County Joint Technical Education District, or JTED, are ready to get jobs after high school.

Megan McGee, 18, just graduated from Sahuarita High School. She also celebrated her completion of JTED at Centennial Hall Friday night. She is going to work as a CNA at a senior care home.

"I'm going to just work there while I'm going to school for medical assistant at JTED again," McGee said. "And I don't know after that. Then I'll see if I want to go to college. If not, then I'll just do what I have under my belt as is."

Abbie Whitaker will attend NAU in the fall. Because of the JTED cosmetology program, she already has a job in Flagstaff.

"There's a lot of options for a hairdresser or cosmetology license," Whitaker said. "So I can do whatever I want basically."

By 2020, employment in middle skill occupations will increase by nearly 20 percent, according to data provided by JTED.

JTED Superintendent Alan Storm said there is nothing wrong with working a job that does not require a traditional college degree.

"There are many people who have no college training who make way more than I do," Storm said. "And if you doubt that, call an electrician or a plumber on a weekend. These are people who have a skill that I do not have."

JTED also gives students a head start on more advanced degrees, including engineering and biosciences.

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