Career Prep 2030

In order to serve the economic needs of our region and the life-long employability of our students, we need to increase the number of students engaging in high-quality career and technical education (CTE) and work-based learning opportunities. West Michigan is competing with other peer metropolitan areas across the country for economic development.

  • CTE students graduate at a higher rate than non-CTE students.
  • CTE students enroll in college at the same rate as other students.
  • More than 75% of employers from in-demand industries report hiring an employee because of knowledge and skills gained through CTE.
  • CTE students are high-wage earners and earn more than $2 million over their lifetimes, on average.


Our Goal & Strategies

We want to double the number of students participating in Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Kent ISD by 2030. To do this, we will:

  1. Expand CTE and CTE "like" options
  2. Add partnerships for Work-Based Learning
  3. Increase engagement with students

Our three strategic industries of focus:

Advanced Manufacturing


  • 15.9% of West Michigan job today are in manufacturing
  • $52.9 billion in sales generated by manufacturing in West Michigan
  • The Right Place Manufacturers Council has 35 members committed to advanced manufacturing.

                   *West Michigan CSA Lightcast 2022

Health Sciences


  • 10-year job growth rate of 19%
  • 60,522 Health Science jobs
  • 433 health science establishments and 50 medical device manufacturers
  • $2 billion in investments in the past 20 years
    ​​​​​    *Lightcast & State of Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information




  • 3,200 tech workers to be hired in next five years
  • 78% say tech is "highly important" to strategy
  • 72% say they'll be increasing tech hiring in the next five years
  • 69% say they'll be increasing their tech training budgets

* Regional Tech Survey Results

Who We Are


Ron Koehler, Superintendent Kent ISD

Randy Thelen, President & CEO, The Right Place

Chris Bardeggia, Vice President, Steelcase

Contact Us!

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Important Links

Workforce Development 
Kent ISD's Workforce Development team is bringing together students and employers to build a skilled and diverse workforce that is necessary for a healthy economy. We look to build relationships between education and business to help students learn career skills and for employers to hire the talent that they need.

Career & College Readiness
The more exposure students have to future career opportunities and the world of work, the more likely they are to choose a career that’s right for them – where they’ll be happy and successful. It’s our job to help students get that exposure.