JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — Within the walls of Warren Tech, more students have become interested in career and trade education. 

Senior Moriah Munoz, a culinary arts major, is one of those students.

"When I was little, I just liked cooking, and then this seemed like a fun program to be in," Munoz said.

Cooking, welding and aviation are all industries in dire need of more workers, according to Warren Tech Principal Heather Keeton.

"Yup, we have a lot of retirees and there's going to be a lot of open jobs," Keeton said.

Students like Munoz are hosting eighth graders from around Jefferson County to inform them of the different career paths that are out there.

"We offer all types of career clusters," Keeton said. "We have a lot of programming in the health care industry right now. That is an industry in huge need."

In fact, Warren Tech's programs have become so popular, the Jefferson County School District will build a third campus in the southern part of the county to go along with existing campuses in Lakewood and Arvada.

"We just don't have the physical space any longer," Keeton said. "We've outgrown both our north and central campuses."

Munoz said the expanded program is good for students in JeffCo that may be looking for something other than traditional classroom instruction.

"It's a good way to test about what you want to do for a career instead of going to college and wasting money and realizing that you don't like it," Munoz said.

At Warren Tech, students can earn college credits and professional certifications.

"There are lots of high paying jobs where our students can get a certification and go straight into industry and into the workforce immediately out of high school," Keeton said. "For a lot of people, that's a really good option for them."

In 2018, voters approved a bond issue which included $10 million to jump-start the construction of a third Warren Tech campus. A location and final details have not been disclosed, but Warren Tech South is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021.

"I think it's really cool for people to, like, discover what they want more at a younger age," Munoz said.

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