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YUHSD CTE shines as Good Morning Yuma sponsor

Student interacting with guest at Good Morning Yuma When Yuma Chamber of Commerce Executive Director John Courtis roused the more than 200 guests at the monthly Good Morning Yuma event, he got a heartier response than normal. It took two tries to wake the early-rising crowd, but Courtis finally got the “Good morning, Yuma,” he was looking for with the help of nearly 50 Yuma Union High School District Career & Technical Education students joining the chorus.

YUHSD CTE was the title sponsor for the Dec. 12 event at the Pivot Point Conference Center, but the students, who were there to serve as ambassadors for their programs and CTE in general, stole the morning.

“The students were just phenomenal,” Courtis said.

Seven students, hailing from various high schools in YUHSD, gave on-stage presentations with their topics ranging from encouraging business leaders to join CTE advisory boards to showing the impact CTE and YUHSD has had on their future career plans to imploring their support.

San Luis High School senior Melissa Moreno, who is also the National Vice President of SkillsUSA, told the audience: “These students are not hard to find. We are not the exception of our generation. We are the representation of it.

“These students, unfortunately, will not be ours forever, but they could become yours. The United States has a widening skills gap, in which there is a disconnect between the skills, training and experience that workers have and the job requirements employers need within our workforce. And we are the solution for it because our students are graduating high school certified in their trades, having professional, hands-on industry experience, and being more prepared in their career readiness skills than ever before.”

In addition to their on-stage presence, numerous students networked with audience members, talked about CTE, and answered questions. CTE programs throughout the district also contributed door prizes for the morning and charcuterie board centerpieces for each of the 24 tables, 

The boards were uniquely shaped by Yuma, Kofa, and San Luis construction; branded by San Luis and Kofa welding; wrapped by Vista and Kofa hospitality; decorated with fresh rosemary grown by Gila Ridge agriculture; and included a step-by-step guide produced by San Luis digital photography, a tin of cookies baked by Cibola culinary arts, and a jar of jam made by Kofa culinary arts.

Door prizes gave winners an opportunity to experience CTE programs first-hand and were selected by the Chamber at random. Prizes included: an oil change from Kofa automotive, an oil change from Cibola automotive, a meal for four prepared by Kofa culinary arts, a welding sculpture from Gila Ridge welding, and a family photo session from San Luis digital photography.


Nearly 8,000 students across YUHSD are enrolled in at least one of 82 CTE courses, accounting for more than 77% of the district’s student population. Between 2018 and 2019 students earned 5,741 industry certifications and are graduating at a rate of 99% among CTE completers.

Intersted in learning more about CTE or YUHSD? Sign up for a campus tour.

Eric Patten