MTI at McHenry Community High School

With a growing number of students in biomedical science classes, McHenry Community High School introduced a new health care feature to the annual Manufacturing, Trades and Industry career expo to highlight postsecondary training and career options.

The school’s Oct. 12 expo featured representatives from more than 40 business and organizations for students to meet with and ask questions about career options. Biomedical Science Instructor Leah Pelletier said she saw current high school students taking advantage of the opportunity, and it was also nice to see middle school students, too.

The event typically draws students from the McHenry area and surrounding areas. Karyn Burmeister, division chair for MCHS’ Career and Technical Education division, said many exhibitors are longtime participants but there were many new organizations as well.

New exhibitors include A-Tec Ambulance, Northwestern Medicine, McHenry Township Fire Protection District and Valley Hi nursing and rehabilitation center. Some of the longtime participants include Miller Formless, Fabrik Molded Plastics, Sphere Laser and more. 

McHenry County College also typically participates and this year brought representatives from health care degree programs, too. 

Pelletier said she’s glad to see students learn about the wide variety of health care career paths, which not only include nursing, but also paramedic, pharmacy, physical therapy and more.

“It is pretty cool to see,” Pelletier said. “There are so many options.”

This year, there are 11 different sections of Project Lead the Way biomedical courses Principles of Biomedical Science, Human Body Systems and Medical Interventions. Also, MCHS runs a medical residency job shadowing program with Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital.

McHenry High School started hosting the expo in 2016 to introduce students to different career options and also help address the need for skilled workers. According to a press release from PeopleReady Skilled Trades, job postings in the skilled trades are growing faster than jobs can be filled.