Char-Em ISD recognized with Excellence in Practice award for ‘Career Tech to Careers’ signing events

Watch the video we submitted to the Office of Career and Technical Education about the award!

Watch our video about the Lineworker Program!

Nearly two years ago, the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District began a program recognizing the achievements of students who took career tech courses in high school and used those skills to enter the workforce after graduation. These “Career Tech to Careers” signing events have since taken off, and numerous events have been held celebrating these young adults and their successful transition into careers.

Not only is the program gaining local recognition, but statewide accolades as well. The Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Career and Technical Education recently awarded Career Tech to Careers with a 2021 Excellence in Practice Awards in the Career and College Readiness Initiative category.

Each year the state Office of Career and Technical Education recognizes excellence in career and technical education programming in Michigan’s schools and ISDs.

“Your programs exemplify the highest standards in preparing Michigan’s students for postsecondary education and careers,” said Brian L. Pyles, Director, Office of Career and Technical Education for MDE. “You should be very proud of this significant achievement. I commend you for your valuable contribution and your vision, expertise and teamwork in creating and sustaining such an exemplary practice in career education.”

Jim Rummer, Director of Career and Technical Education for Char-Em ISD, said the signing events have been an exciting program to see grow. They are modeled after athletic-type signing events, where high school athletes are often pictured signing letters of intent to play sports at a college or university. At the Career Tech to Careers signing events, bright backdrops accompany the newly hired worker who is pictured with company management, high school staff and often their parents – all celebrating the young adult’s success in entering the workforce in a meaningful employment opportunity. 

“This initiative in particular has been so rewarding for everyone involved, and especially the young adult and their families. It’s important to recognize the successes of all our students, from those who go on to pursue higher education and those who commit to the workforce and often fill roles necessary for the functioning of our community – like the lineworker program,” Rummer noted.

Char-Em ISD and Boyne City Public Schools were also recognized with an Excellence in Practice Award, Career and Technical Education Outstanding Program, for the Energy Fundamentals: Lineworker Emphasis program housed at Boyne City High School.

Jeff Crouse, Char-Em ISD superintendent, expressed his congratulations to the hard work of the CTE staff in continuing to pursue programming and initiatives that directly benefit students.

“We continue to grow our opportunities for kids, and at the end of the day that is what these awards recognize – Char-Em’s commitment to our students and their futures,” Crouse said.

Char-Em ISD and its partner districts offer 18 different Career and Technical Education courses across all 11 public school districts in the ISD. Students from any high school can attend any career tech program at any district.

To learn more about the CTE programs and to also view the students and businesses who have been recognized as part of the Career Tech to Careers features, visit

View all past Career Tech to Careers signing events

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