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These scholarships aim to support adult learners in their pursuit of career training and further education, demonstrating JACC's commitment to lifelong learning and workforce development in Michigan.

Jackson, MI – The Jackson Area Career Center (JACC) is proud to introduce two significant scholarship opportunities for Michigan residents seeking to advance their careers through education. These scholarships aim to support adult learners in their pursuit of career training and further education, demonstrating JACC's commitment to lifelong learning and workforce development in Michigan.

Michigan Achievement Scholarship

The Michigan Achievement Scholarship offers an incredible opportunity for individuals looking to embark on or advance in their career journey. Eligible students may receive up to $2,000 to attend a career training program at the Jackson Area Career Center. This scholarship is available to those who graduated from a Michigan high school or received a GED in 2023 or later. It's designed to open doors for students by providing financial support for vocational training, helping them gain the skills and qualifications needed to thrive in today's competitive job market.

Michigan Reconnect Short Term Training Program Scholarship

In collaboration with the Michigan Reconnect initiative, the Short Term Training Program Scholarship is specifically tailored for Michigan residents aged 21 years or older who have yet to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree. This one-time scholarship provides up to $1,500 towards tuition costs for students choosing to attend a career training program where they can gain new skills or credentials in their chosen field.

Interested individuals are encouraged to visit for more information on how to apply and detailed descriptions of the available career training programs.

About Jackson Area Career Center
The Jackson Area Career Center is a leader in career and technical education and skills training in Michigan, offering a wide range of programs designed to equip adult learners and high school students with the necessary skills for successful careers in various industries. Our commitment to excellence in education, student support, and community service drives us to offer programs that meet the evolving needs of our workforce and economy.

Cosmetology & Esthetics students team up for annual event to showcase their programs

This will be similar to the Hair Show of years' past where students create stunning looks on a mannequin head or a live model and are judged by members of industry.

Jackson, Mich. -- Mark your calendar for this reimagined event! 

Cosmetology and Esthetics students are teaming up for the "Into the Wild" Beauty Services and Fashion Event on Wednesday, March 20 at the East Jackson Secondary School Auditorium, located at 1566 N. Sutton Road.

This will be similar to the Hair Show of years' past where students create stunning looks on a mannequin head or a live model and are judged by members of industry. This year, some Cosmetology students have chosen an "Esthi Bestie" where they will work together on their creation.

Doors open at 5:30pm and the event starts at 6pm. Admission and parking will be free. Donations to SOAR Café & Farms is appreciated. SOAR is a non-profit in Jackson that exists to provide healing, housing, and employment for women survivors of human trafficking, sexual abuse, and trauma.

Celebrate CTE Month during Career Center's Open House

The annual event aims to inform students and parents about the 22 career and technical education programs offered to juniors and seniors.

Jackson, Mich. – The Jackson Area Career Center is celebrating Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month by opening its doors to students and parents during its annual Open House on Thursday, February 22, 2024 from 4pm - 7pm.

Eighth-through-11th graders and their families are invited to tour nearly the two-dozen programs preparing students for high-demand, high-wage and high-skill careers in the 21st century workforce. Families can learn more about the benefits of attending the Career Center, including how students can earn free college credits and industry credentials while attending classes at their high school.

A wide range of interactive demonstrations will be taking place throughout the evening by current students and certified instructors who use their on-the-job experience to teach through a combination of academics and hands-on projects. “The Jackson Area Career Center’s annual Open House showcases all of our high quality career and technical education programs. I highly encourage students and their families to attend to learn about the opportunities that are available,” said Dan Draper, principal at the Career Center. “Our programs focus not only on technical skills, but also build students’ academic and employability skills.”

High school counselors from area school districts will be on hand to answer questions about enrollment, which incoming juniors and seniors will be able to do on-site during the event. Parent information sessions will also be held throughout the evening to allow parents to ask questions about schedules, programs, and work-based learning opportunities.

Career Center’s automotive programs receive national accreditation renewal

Students with an interest in the automotive industry can be assured they are getting top-notch training at the Jackson Area Career Center to prepare them for success.

Jackson, Mich. --- Students with an interest in the automotive industry can be assured they are getting top-notch training at the Jackson Area Career Center to prepare them for success.

The Career Center’s Automotive Technology program and Automotive Collision Repair program have received ASE Training Program accreditation by the ASE Education Foundation, signaling a commitment to quality and strict industry standards. To achieve this coveted recognition, the two programs underwent rigorous evaluation using nationally accepted standards of excellence in areas such as instruction, facilities, and equipment. 

For students, this means they are learning in programs that meet the highest national standards in automotive education. Business owners in the automotive sector can be assured graduates from the ASE-accredited program come equipped with skills and knowledge that align with industry expectations.

“This recognition for our two programs is more than just an accolade; it’s a testament to our dedication to quality education and adherence to stringent industry standards,” said Principal Dan Draper. "Students can learn and enhance their skills in the highest certified lab environment required for direct industry employment. Our local shops and dealerships are very fortunate to have this high school program to provide them with a knowledgeable foundation and eager workforce."  

ASE Education Foundation President Michael Coley said this is great news for automotive-minded young people and their parents. “Because these programs increase cooperation between local education and industry leaders, it gives added assurance that Career Center graduates will be employable entry-level technicians. As a result of the quality education provided by Jackson Area Career Center, the motoring public will benefit since better repair technicians will join the workforce.”

 Jackson Area Career Center Construction Trades Site House listed for sale

This 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home in the Three Forty Farms subdivision is the program's 35th home, and has an asking price of $508,500.

In the market for a new home? The Jackson Area Career Center is listing its latest Construction Trades Site House for sale!  

This 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home in the Three Forty Farms subdivision is the program's 35th home. It is located at 1156 Lexington Boulevard in Jackson. 

The Jackson County ISD Board of Education set the asking price at $508,500 at its October 17 board meeting. That is based on two independent appraisals that came in at $508,000 and $509,000. An open house will be held on Friday, October 27. 

For more information about the home, including pictures and the bidding process, please click on the link below:

2023 Jackson Area Career Center Site House

JACC Asst Principal VanAllen

Mr. VanAllen previously held the role of principal at Jackson Public Schools’ Northeast Elementary, and will support student services in this position.

Jackson, Mich. - The Jackson Area Career Center has a new Assistant Principal on staff for the 2023-24 school year.

Phil VanAllen is joining Assistant Principal Lauren Kyser and Principal Dan Draper on the JACC administration team. Mr. VanAllen previously held the role of principal at Jackson Public Schools’ Northeast Elementary, and will support student services in this position. He replaces Assistant Principal Lauren Sager, who is returning to the classroom this year to teach Cosmetology, a role she held for several years prior to her two years as an administrator.

“We’re excited for Phil to join the Career Center team and help us continue making it a destination for students to explore their career path,” said Principal Dan Draper. “We welcome his student-centered mentality and ultimate goal to provide opportunities for their success.”

Mr. VanAllen has a master’s degree in K-12 Administration from Michigan State University, and a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University. Previous to his roles as principal and assistant principal at Northeast Elementary, Montessori, and Bennett Elementary, Mr. VanAllen was also an assistant principal, teacher and success coach at schools in Taylor and Ann Arbor. 

Mr. VanAllen is no stranger to career and technical education (CTE). He took classes as a high school student at Saline High School and is excited to be a part of a district that offers those opportunities. “There are so many different options at the Career Center, giving students a chance to see what their future could look like,” said Mr. VanAllen. “I’m really excited to watch them grow from those experiences as 11th and 12th graders and see what they can do moving forward.”

Award Recipients

From Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Press Release
March 3, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — The MiSTEM Network team in region 2 – covering southeast and southcentral Michigan – hosted their 4th Annual Recognition Ceremony, to honor educators and community partners for their commitment to cultivating a vibrant STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ecosystem in Michigan. 

“The Annual Recognition Ceremony is a great opportunity to celebrate the community partnerships and educators that are crucial to creating a vibrant STEM ecosystem in our state,” said Megan Schrauben, MiSTEM Network Executive Director. “MiSTEM is committed to investing in STEM education and empowering our educators as they prepare students for in-demand careers.” 

MiSTEM is pleased to congratulate Jill Cain, an educator of 22 years and current teacher at Three Fires Elementary School in Howell Public Schools, for receiving the STEM Integration Educator of the Year Award and $1,000 grant; John Riedeman, 12-year veteran educator, First Robotics Lead Mentor and 11-12th grade teacher at Jackson Area Career Center, on receiving the STEM Educator of the Year Award and $1,000 grant; and the Southeast Michigan Stewardship (SEMIS) Coalition, Ethan Lowenstein and Lisa Volker from Eastern Michigan University on receiving the Critical Partners Award.  

"It is an honor to recognize the outstanding work of our educators and community partners to advance the STEM culture in the region,” said Scott Heister, MiSTEM Region 2 Director. “I applaud Jill Cain, John Riedeman and the SEMIS Coalition for their continued efforts to support students on their way to a bright future in STEM.” 

These awards recognize educators and community partners with a consistent record of integration of STEM principles and high-quality STEM-related experiences for students, with a focus on:  

  • Promoting active learning and imaginative, critical and independent thinking; 
  • Developing a love of learning and appreciation for the relationship between STEM-based content and society; 
  • Building resilience and helping students learn the advantages of “failing forward;” 
  • Using design process thinking and STEM-based learning experiences; 
  • Engaging with learners beyond the classroom and creating opportunities to address the individual needs of all learners; and 
  • Using teaching techniques that are appropriate and effective with a wide variety of learning styles.   

In addition to being recognized at the March 2 MiSTEM Recognition Ceremony at Washtenaw Community College, Cain and Riedeman received $1,000 grants to help increase their impact around STEM education. Cain plans to use the grant funds to replace and upgrade existing STEM equipment to expand programming for her students and Riedeman plans to purchase items to provide more hands-on learning.  

Cain goes above and beyond to ensure that students can learn in a safe, healthy, supportive and exciting environment. She uses makerspaces to engage students and help them uncover their talents and interests by making, producing, solving, creating, collaborating and thinking. She also uses her skills and experience to motivate students, nurture their desire for learning and help other teachers integrate STEM experiences for students outside of traditional STEM classrooms.  

"As a veteran educator, I recognize the importance of cultivating a welcoming and engaging environment for my students to learn,” said Cain. “This grant will boost my classroom offerings so students can explore their talents and the exciting world of STEM.” 

Riedeman leverages his engineering experience and strong relationships with post-secondary partners to actively promote science and STEM careers for his students. He has transformed Jackson Area Career Center’s FIRST robotics team into a perennial state qualifier. His classroom has become a destination for local schools to collaborate and hone their robotics skills. Some of his former students have come back to help mentor the program that inspired them to purse STEM careers in college, illustrating the long-term impact of Riedeman’s work. 

"Having former students reach back to support my classroom shows me just how impactful STEM education is and I am grateful to play a role in that here in our region,” said Riedeman. “I look forward to using this grant to grow my classroom resources that will connect even more students to valuable STEM experiences and future careers in the field.”  

The SEMIS Coalition received the Critical Partners Award as a testament to their outstanding work towards advancing the STEM culture in the region and their positive impact on equitable access to STEM careers. They were also recognized for their advancement of 3-P (project, problem and place-based) education in the region. 

"Here at the SEMIS Coalition, we have a profound respect for the educators, students and advocates who are changing the world through STEM education,” said Ethan Lowenstein. “It is an honor to receive this award and we look forward to continuing to contribute to the vibrant STEM ecosystem right here in Michigan.”

The Educator of the Year awards ceremony served as a closing ceremony for the week-long 2023 STEAM Week + Campus Explore event hosted by Washtenaw Community college.  

MiSTEM Region 2 is comprised of six counties from southeast/south central Michigan, including: Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe and Washtenaw Counties. Their work aims to unite education, business and community partners across the state by creating pathways for all students to consider and purse high-wage, high-demand careers in STEM. Their mission is to be the catalyst for equitable access and engagement in authentic STEM experiences in every community in Michigan.

Award Recipients

Pictured, left to right: Ethan Lowenstein, Lisa Volker (Southeast Michigan Stewardship Initiative); Scott Heister (MiSTEM Network); Jill Cain (Three Fires Elementary School, Howell Public Schools); John Riedeman (Jackson Area Career Center, JCISD).

Hir Show Invite

March 24, 2023

Jackson, Mich. -- Nearly 70 juniors and seniors got a chance to put their stylist skills on display during the Jackson Area Career Center's Cosmetology Hair and Fashion Show. The show took place on Wednesday, March 23, at the Michigan Theatre in downtown Jackson. The theme of this year's event was "All Glammed Up on the Red Carpet".

Seniors were tasked with designing a look on a real model, while the juniors styled manikin heads using any "fantasy" look. The students were judged by members of industry based on their creativity, closeness to theme, neatness and control, and a brief written description of their work. The winning students included:


  • Jillian Nortely - 1st; Vandercook
  • Izabella Arntz - 2nd; Jackson High
  • Grayce Sarna - 3rd; Michigan Center
  • D'Arie Pierce - Honorable Mention; Jackson High
  • Aliyah White - Honorable Mention; Western


  • Jeniya Broadus - 1st; Jackson High
  • Alexis (Lexi) Marks - 2nd; Springport
  • Shanna Knight - 3rd; Jackson High 
  • Alayna Czajkowski - Honorable Mention; Western 
  • Cassie Ruhlig - Honorable Mention; Ackerson Lake

Students from other Career Center programs lent their talents to the show as well; Agriscience supplied the flowers, Army JROTC cadets greeted people at the door and escorted the models, and Visual Communications took pictures and video. Admission was free, but cash donations for SOAR Cafe & Farms, a local non-profit organization that helps women survivors of human trafficking, sexual abuse and trauma, were accepted at the door. 

Kaci Babineau
Marketing & Special Projects