Career Prep 2030

In order to serve the economic needs of our region and the life-long employability of our students, we need to increase the number of students engaging in high-quality career and technical education and work-based learning opportunities. West Michigan is competing with other peer metropolitan areas across the country for economic development.

Our Goal

Double the number of students participating in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming in Kent ISD by 2030.

  • CTE students graduate at a higher rate than non-CTE students.
  • CTE students enroll in college at the same rate as other students.
  • More than 75% of employers from in-demand industries report hiring an employee because of knowledge and skills gained through CTE.
  • CTE students are high-wage earners and earn more than $2 million over their lifetimes, on average.

 - Michigan Dept. of Education, Office of CTE


Our Strategies

  1. Increase the Number of High-Quality CTE Opportunities
  2. Support New Partners
  3. Increase Engagement with Students

Our three strategic industries of focus:

Advanced Manufacturing


  • 15.9% of West Michigan job today are in manufacturing
  • $52.9 billion in sales generated by manufacturing in West Michigan
  • The Right Place Manufacturers Council has 35 members committed to advanced manufacturing.

Health Sciences


  • 10-year job growth rate of 19%
  • 60,522 Health Science jobs
  • 433 health science establishments and 50 medical device manufacturers
  • $2 billion in investments in the past 20 years




  • 3,200 tech workers to be hired in next five years
  • 78% say tech is "highly important" to strategy
  • 72% say they'll be increasing tech hiring in the next five years
  • 69% say they'll be increasing their tech training budgets

Regional Tech Survey Results

Who We Are


Ron Koehler, Superintendent Kent ISD

Randy Thelen, President & CEO, The Right Place

Chris Bardeggia, Vice President, Steelcase
Chair, West Michigan Manafacturing Council

Important Links

Workforce Development 
Kent ISD's Workforce Development team is bringing together students and employers to build a skilled and diverse workforce that is necessary for a healthy economy. We look to build relationships between education and business to help students learn career skills and for employers to hire the talent that they need.

Career & College Readiness
The more exposure students have to future career opportunities and the world of work, the more likely they are to choose a career that’s right for them – where they’ll be happy and successful. It’s our job to help students get that exposure.