While each year in October the Carroll County Career and Technology Center opens its doors to potential students, this year, the Tech Center will bring in members of the business community on Thursday night, Sept. 20 at its first-ever open house, in partnership with the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.

Tech Center Principal Bill Eckles said the idea is for local businesses and community members in the industry to see the school’s program offerings, and see what connections can be made.


The idea, which started to come together at the end of last year, was brought on by conversations with the local advisory council, Eckles said.

“[The board] helps us keep up to date so we know what business and industry are looking for,” he said.

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Justin Mudgett, who is the vice president of Mudgett’s Auto Body, is the director of the local advisory council. Mudgett said the council, which includes teachers and those in the industry, works to enrich the Tech Center.

This event is a chance to create partnerships, he said.

“Anybody who hires people — we want them to come to the Tech Center,” Mudgett said.

Mudgett said he’s been on the board for years, and has been able to help the Tech Center build curriculum that is current. This type of work is important, because there are too many people with college degrees and not enough in skilled labor.

“There is a serious demand for skilled workers,” he said, later adding, “A lot of people don’t understand that you can make $100,000 working with their hands.”

Eckles said they’re not sure how many people will come out Thursday, but said the Tech Center is hoping for a good crowd. A lot of local companies hire Tech Center students, he said, but often, Eckles said he hears people say they don’t know the school exists or don’t know what if offers.

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The committee, which began meeting last year and was tasked at looking at program needs in the Tech Center, has completed its report.

Thursday night is a chance to share just what the Tech Center brings to Carroll.

Eckles said they want to make sure the school isn’t a “well-kept secret.”

Mike McMullin, president of the chamber, said he’s been at the chamber for eight years and in the county for nearly 30. When he was younger, he said, he thought the Tech Center was for students who “couldn’t cut it in regular school.”

“Until people actually go into that school and see what these young kids are doing ... I just think people don’t quite understand how amazing that place is,” he said.

Unlike the message that has been sent over the years, he said, college isn’t for everyone, and going into a trade is a great way to make money and have a secure job. Thursday’s open house is a chance to expose the business community and community at large to what exactly the Tech Center offers, he added.

“At the chamber, we’re extraordinarily proud of the work that they do at this school,” McMullin said. “Everybody should see it.”


The open house will be held from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 at the Tech Center, 1229 Washington Rd., Westminster. For more information, contact Peggy Soper at 410-848-9050 or via email at psoper@carrollcountychamber.org.