Technical Academy

From left, Northwest Career and Technical Academy culinary students Melody Corona, Deanne Bigman and Jazmin Salas in May 2019.

MOUNT VERNON — The Northwest Career and Technical Academy is seeking input from the business community to help guide its course offerings.

Under federal law guiding Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, institutions that offer CTE programs, such as the Northwest Career and Technical Academy, must complete a Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment in an attempt to continue to provide programs based upon regional needs.

“How are we, as educational facilities, helping to provide what those industry needs are, and how do we, as CTE directors, change our curriculum or even programs,” said Lynette Brower, director of the Northwest Career and Technical Academy.

The academy, which serves students in Skagit and Whatcom counties, is operated by school district superintendents from those counties, as well as Skagit Valley College President Tom Keegan. The Mount Vernon School District is the academy’s managing partner.

In order to form the Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment plan, the academy is looking to gather input from industry and workforce leaders.

“We’re all educators, we’re not in industry,” Brower said. “We really need industry leaders to tell us what the needs are because we don’t already know.”

After gathering input, CTE directors, including those from each of Skagit County’s six public high schools, will make a plan on how to best address the needs of the community.

Brower and other local high school CTE directors will host four virtual meetings during the first week of June to collect input: 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m. on June 3; 1:30 to 3 p.m. on June 4; and 9:30 to 11 a.m. on June 5.

For more information, watch a brief video at

To sign up to give input, visit or contact Brower at

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141,, Twitter: @Kera_SVH,

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