Enrollment at Lancaster County Career & Technology Center has been in high demand as the institution nears 100% capacity with plans to expand.
This school year continues the trend with at least 1,650 students expected at the center. From 2018 to 2023, the total number of available spots in CTC programs has grown from 1,565 to 1,719, according to center data.
As a result, center director Stuart Savin often faces a balancing act of determining what programs to expand, which need to be strengthened and which might no longer be viable.
“The opportunity is there, the demand is there because people see this as a great pathway where they don’t have to incur debt for a phenomenal rewarding future,” Savin said.
Despite a dip in high school enrollment in Lancaster County, Savin said demand for career and technical training is continuing to increase. In fact, career and technology centers across the nation are seeing an increase in demand.
Yet the center must be careful not to expand programs that might only be seeing a momentary uptick in popularity. Savin said administrators monitor enrollment numbers for years before determining whether a program should be expanded.
“We need to be responsive but we need to do it in a judicious way,” Savin said.
Recently, the center released a timeline for upcoming programs that includes an expansion of the center’s diesel technology classes this school year. During the school year, renovations to the room housing the powersports technology program in the Willow Street building will take place; the powersports program was moved to the Brownstown campus and classes in the diesel technology program won’t be interrupted by the renovations.
Additionally, the center plans in 2024 to end its lease of its building adjacent to its Willow Street campus, currently held by the Lion’s Club CTC, to begin renovations in 2025 for a new central office. Center students originally constructed the building in the early to mid-’90s.
The new office – expected to be completed for the 2026-27 school year – will replace the center’s current office located in the Willow Street building, freeing up room for instructional spaces.
Following that move, the center plans to begin a seven- to 10-year feasibility study for its existing buildings to assess whether it should add, expand or downsize according to projected enrollment.