By providing their students with safety training, educators gain the satisfaction of knowing they have educated their students academically and improved their students' safety and employability.





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Coleen Keffeler, Sturgis Brown High School, Sturgis, SD

Coleen Keffeler holds many responsibilities and positions at Sturgis Brown High School located in Sturgis, South Dakota. For the last 30 years as a CTE educator, Keffeler has worked tirelessly to provide students at her school with a great educational foundation. She currently teaches culinary arts, Career Planning/Personal Finance, and runs the placement supervision of youth internships.

Six years ago, Keffeler and Sturgis Brown High School began looking for a safety education program to use and were introduced to CareerSafe at an ACTE Region V Conference. Keffeler explains, “We were looking for a type of safety curriculum that we could use consistently across all CTE classrooms,” which ultimately lead to their decision to use CareerSafe as a workplace safety education program. Students that are interested in career and technical education courses are enrolled into CareerSafe as freshmen and will have the industry recognized credential before continuing upper-level courses.

“Students are taken through the first module unit then given a week to complete the course and get certified. We have a special Saturday session to get students through the remainder of the course who may take longer than the week given,” Keffeler describes. Students are also able to get assistance from the teacher in the computer lab who has taken a CareerSafe OSHA 10-Hour course personally in order to better support students as they progress through the course.

Sturgis Brown High School implements workplace safety training for any CTE course that consists of a lab setting including welding, automotive technology, agriculture mechanics, cabinetry, geometry and construction, industrial technology, independent living, and culinary arts.

Keffeler feels that safety is important for her students especially in school for those that work and learn in lab settings. “It makes them more aware of their surroundings and actions, and hopefully they will carry it over to their careers and personal lives as well,” she says. Keffeler explains that CareerSafe gives a basic solid foundation of safety knowledge for students, but safety education continues even further into upper-level CTE classes.

“My classes and others often refer back to CareerSafe, but as our students continue on into more specific CTE content—our safety training become more focused and specific.”

Keffeler says that many students with workplace safety training are getting hired for jobs after graduation or for the summer because of an industry recognized credential. Many students who continue on to post-secondary schooling and are able to prove they possess an OSHA credential save money and time by not needing to take a mandatory college class for the credential again.

With the dedication and hard work of educators like Coleen Keffeler, we are able to educate students in high school not only for entry-level jobs, but also do our part to prepare them for the rest of their lives.

CareerSafe wants to recognize teachers and CTE directors around the country that are taking strides to educate youth in workplace safety. Each month, CareerSafe will introduce you to an educator that has been implementing CareerSafe courses in his or her classroom. These educators strive to make a difference one student at a time. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.