Education for Employment classes give LN students a boost towards a future career


Credit: Alexis Weeden

Portage Northern senior Paige Konigsberg and Kalamazoo Central senior Izzy Hawkes practice wrapping with dressing and pads during lab for the Emergency Medical Technician EFE. Wrapping and bandaging is a very important skill for EMT’s to know.

Lily Stickley, Feature Editor

Not everything students learn in high school will help them with their future.

Loy Norrix provides students with an opportunity to study for future employment with a program called Education for Employment or EFE. The school offers about 42 different EFE options for students to choose from. 

Some of the most commonly taken EFEs are Health Science and Automotive Tech. Most of the classes take place off campus; for instance, Health Science is taken at KVCC. However, there are a few classes offered on the LN campus. In the lower M-wing is Automotive Technology, or Auto Tech. 

According to Education for Employment Kalamazoo RESA, students learn the “…areas of automotive service: engine, brakes, electrical & electrical systems, steering & suspension, auto & manual transmissions and air conditioning.”

EFEs classes typically teach using less traditional methods than a typical school would. Most of the work is hands-on learning, like with Welding and Culinary Arts, and some is more technology based, like Electronics and Robotics. 

Senior Izayah Balden, who is in Auto Tech said, “I’m learning about all the different parts of the car and how to use all the equipment safely, to do various things like changing oil, rotating tires.”

According to junior Madi McNair, Health Science is “The basics of medical knowledge.” She went on to describe the basic goals of the class and said “[we’re] learning all the different fields, learning how to expand  knowledge, within the medical field.” 

The students in this EFE are often seen around the school wearing scrubs on those days they are working in the lab. 

McNair said, “Lab is when we go into our ‘fake’ hospital and we get to do fire safety, learn CPR: we actually have the hospital beds, and we get to learn how to put an IV in, and basic patient safety and personal safety.” 

Of the EFEs, Emergency Medical Technician or EMT, is a lesser known option. Education for Employment Kalamazoo RESA describes what students study in this class, “The EMT course is a study of the topics and skills necessary to make life saving interventions and stabilize patients during transport to a medical facility.”

Senior Alexis Weeden, who is taking the EMT EFE, is one of the students learning how to save lives and address serious injuries.

“Basic life support would be basic CPR, using an AED machine, which are the automatic defibrillators, and then how to splint stuff, how to make sure we aren’t agitating a broken arm. We know how to take all of your vitals, so we know how to do blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate,” said Weeden.

Most of these EFE’s are not in traditional classroom settings. Auto Tech is in a car garage and Health Science is in a classroom some of the time and in their practice hospital on other days. Later on, the students in the Health Science will be going to Bronson and Borgess to do observations in a real setting. 

In the EMT EFE students spend roughly two hours more in lecture than in lab. Their lab has a practice ambulance and things like stretchers.

There are other options that are not health or mechanic related. There is a teacher academy, in which students begin to work with other students, mainly younger students, and learn how to teach them and gain the background knowledge of child development. 

A Cosmetology/Barbering EFE is also offered, so students can become a certified cosmetologist or barber.