DOVER — The state’s new $125,000 retrofitted recreational vehicle promoting career and technical education will make its debut during the Dover Holiday Parade on Sunday.
The 35-foot RV purchased from Camping World in Chichester was undergoing final renovations last week.
More than 1,400 students attend Dover High School. There are 560 students enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes there.
But Lisa Danley, director of Dover’s Regional Career Technical Center, said there is still more work to be done when it comes to convincing parents that these courses can benefit all students.
“I think our biggest challenge is that parents don’t understand career pathways. Everything is very traditional. Take AP courses, or honors courses, or college prep, and you can do all that in CTC but you can also then go right into an internship or apprenticeship,” Danley said on Monday.
That is one of the reasons state officials are using federal grant money for the RV. They say it can connect students and parents to educational resources and businesses through a mobile office of sorts.
Eric Frauwirth is the state CTE director and Dean Graziano is the work-based learning and apprenticeship coordinator at the Department of Education in Concord.
Today, students in high school AP courses can benefit from CTE programming, Frauwirth said.
Frauwirth said the CTE programs in New Hampshire have changed dramatically since many parents went to high school, pointing to the example of biotech classes being added in recent years.
“Unfortunately, there still is a stigma in our society that what used to be vocational education, career tech education, is ‘for the other kids.’ And it’s not. It’s not an either-or. Many of our students go on to post-secondary education,” Frauwirth said.
High-tech manufacturing is an example of an industry that pays students to go to college while working at the companies, Frauwirth said.
Graziano said that is where the state’s new RV comes in. Businesses that need high school graduates ready to work and eager to learn can team up with the state to help invite middle and high school students to think about feasible career pathways in the Granite State by traveling to them.
Graziano said sometimes school districts do not have the money or time to send middle and high school students on field trips to companies hiring in New Hampshire. Having the RV will bridge that gap.
“It’s the geography piece. It’s the resources. It’s all of the things that kind of really make a splash. And it’s bringing community partners in. I think that’s huge,” Graziano said.
The RV will have an office for interviews inside, a display area for culinary and science demonstrations as well as the capacity to show off CTE programming under a retractable awning.
The new RV will not be stopping for students and parents to view during the holiday parade in Dover on Sunday. It will be parked outside the Dover Public Library on Dec. 12 for people to visit in the afternoon.
The Dover Holiday Parade is will be at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The parade route will begin at Dunkin’ on Central Avenue and continue to the Pine Hill Cemetery.
The RV will be in the Rochester Holiday Parade on Dec. 8.