Innovation Center and CETC to Host Open Houses


Photos courtesy of Owen Willis and the Longmont Leader

St. Vrain’s Innovation Center and Career Elevation and Technology Center. Both programs will be hosting Open Houses on Wednesday, December 1 and Thursday, December 2 to give students the opportunity to learn more about the opportunities at each building.

Owen Willis, Social Media Manager

As preparations begin for the 2022-2023 school year, Richard, who is currently an eighth-grade student at a middle school in the district, has been very busy over the past few weeks trying to determine what high school he will be attending next year, and what programs he will be involved in outside of his brick and mortar high school. He knows that the Open Houses for the Innovation Center and Career Elevation and Technology Center (CETC) will be happening soon, so he starts looking into the different ways that he can get involved.

After attending the Open Houses for each high school in the District, he has decided that Frederick would be the option that best fits his needs. He has also heard that the District’s Innovation Center and Career Elevation and Technology Center have a lot of really cool programs that he would be interested in. However, he wasn’t sure what the purpose of either building is, so he decided to visit their website to learn more, and he was shocked with how much information was available as to what the purpose of each program is and the work being done in each building.

“Student learning at the Innovation Center transcends the traditional classroom and provides experiential opportunities that are developing today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders, innovators and changemakers. In addition to rigorous extended learning and mentorship opportunities, students gain valuable experience through employment that focuses on designing and engineering technology solutions for industry and community partners,” reads the Innovation Center website.

“The Career Elevation and Technology Center (CETC) has been the preeminent Provider of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the St. Vrain School District for over 50 years and is one of eight CTE centers in the state of Colorado. Our building houses over 40,000 square feet of classroom, lab, and shop space and offers students the ability to take multiple courses in eight different program areas. Our classes provide real-world, hands-on experiences in pathways that are high-wage and high-growth and are in high-demand,” reads the Career Elevation and Technology Center’s website.

Along with the information about the work being done, the Innovation Center’s website also includes videos that highlight the different classes that you can take at the Innovation Center. There are many different areas that students are able to get involved in, such as Aeronautics, Bioscience, Creative Computing and Design, Cybersecurity, Entrepreneurship, STEM, IC Studios, Robotics, and so much more. You can learn more about the courses being offered at the Innovation Center by visiting Most coursework areas also have after-school project teams, where students are able to get paid to do work in that area for businesses, the school district, and different people and locations within our community and beyond.

“In providing real work for real pay, offering professional/technical certifications for advanced careers, and supporting the excellent coursework at each of our focus high schools, the Innovation Center (IC) offers a distinct and unique competitive advantage for the students in our district.” reads the About Page on the Innovation Center’s Vimeo Page.

The CETC website also includes videos that interested students and families can watch to learn more about the programs offered, as well as a detailed course catalog. Similar to the Innovation Center, the CETC also has many different pathways that students are able to participate in, such as Manufacturing, Welding, Automotive, Culinary, Interactive Media, and much more.

“These pathways allow students to acquire knowledge, skills, and college credit linked with specific post-secondary programs leading to a two-year or four-year degree. Additionally, students are able to participate in rigorous work-based learning experiences and have the opportunity to earn multiple industry-recognized certifications, giving them a jump start in their careers and a solid foundation for success,” reads the CETC Website.

After reading more about the purpose and the courses offered at the Innovation Center and Career Elevation and Technology Center, Richard gets really excited about all of the opportunities that he has access to at these facilities. However, he has developed some questions that he is not able to find the answers to on the website. He then remembers that there is an Open House for both buildings on Wednesday, December 1, and Thursday, December 2 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. At those Open Houses, he will be able to ask the questions that he has, as well as get additional information as to how he can get involved at both of these programs next year.

In addition to the Innovation Center, the District’s Future Ready Mobile Innovation Lab will be present at the Open House on both days to share more about what the Mobile Lab is and what an outstanding resource it is for our District, community, and beyond. In addition, the Mobile Lab will be providing additional information on Innovation Center programming and other ways to get involved. If you are unable to attend the Open House and would like to learn more about the Mobile Lab, please visit or contact Colin Rickman, the District’s Mobile Lab Coordinator, at [email protected].

If you are interested in learning more about the programming at either building or even just taking a tour of either facility to learn more about it, we strongly suggest that you attend the open house on Wednesday, December 1, or Thursday, December 2. However, if you are unable to make it and either still have questions or would like to take a tour of the Innovation Center, please contact Eric Berngen, the Coordinator of Programming and Workforce Development at [email protected]. If you have questions or would like to tour the Career Elevation and Technology Center, please contact one of the Administrators using the information by visiting the CETC website.

To express interest in taking classes at either facility, please click here for the CETC instructions, and please click here for the Innovation Center’s Instructions


Owen Willis is a Student Designer who works part-time at the Innovation Center of the St. Vrain Valley Schools.

This article was updated at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, to include information about the Career Elevation and Technology Center.