Skills center to open its doors for 40th birthday bash | Mukilteo Schools

By Dr. Marci Larsen, Superintendent | Sep 06, 2017

A little-known gem in our school system will be celebrating its 40th birthday soon.

Our school district is among the largest in the state, serving a total of more than 15,000 students. We offer classes at three high schools, four middle schools, 12 elementary schools and a brand-new kindergarten center. But there’s another school in our system, one that provides a valuable service to students from all over Snohomish County.

The Mukilteo School District administers a school called the Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center, which is located on Airport Road near Paine Field, not far from the Boeing plant.

It’s one of 14 skills centers in the state of Washington, which were organized to provide instruction in career and technical programs that are either too expensive or too specialized for individual school districts to operate. Our Sno-Isle Skills Center school provides students from 14 school districts in Snohomish and Island counties with hands-on, relevant training in skills that will prepare them for entry-level jobs in a variety of fields.

It’s a remarkable place, and you’ll have a chance to see it for yourself when the school holds a 40th birthday bash on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Students at the Skills Center take courses in 21 programs that are grouped into five pathways: business marketing and management, human services, science and health, trade and industry, and information technology.

In the business marketing and management pathway, for example, there are courses in cosmetology and fashion merchandising. The culinary arts program may be one of the best-known because the students operate a restaurant called Le Bistro from a state-of-the-art kitchen. It’s a great place for an inexpensive lunch and is popular among employees from nearby Boeing.

Human services programs include criminal justice and fire service technology, while science and health programs include dental assisting, medical assisting, nursing assistant and veterinary assisting.

The trade and industry pathway is always popular with students. Those programs include aerospace, auto body, automotive technology, construction trades, diesel power technology, precision machining, and welding and metal fabrication.

The school also offers programs for students interested in a career using the latest technologies. Programs in the information technology pathway include animation, video game design and electronics engineering, as well as computers, servers and networking.

About 1,000 students attend the Sno-Isle Skills Center in both morning and afternoon sessions, earning high school credits in the process. Some students in certain programs may also receive Tech Prep college credits. If you’re driving around the Paine Field area and see a school bus from some far-away school district, chances are it’s taking students either to or from the Skills Center.

The 40th anniversary event at the Skills Center will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 16. The school is located at 9001 Airport Road in Everett. Be sure to mark the event on your calendar so you can see for yourself what a wonderful resource the school provides our community.

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