February is National Heart Month. What better way to relax, become heart-healthy and help a student excel in their chosen career field than to plan an afternoon of pampering at the South-Western Career Academy.

Prior to arriving, you will want to make an appointment to have your car's oil changed, brakes checked and tires rotated by the SWCA automotive technology students. You can also have your car washed and waxed while it's there. Services are available from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday by calling 614-801-3482 to make an appointment.

You will also want to make appointments in the Cutting Edge Salon to pamper yourself with a haircut, color or perm and maybe a manicure, hand or scalp massage, and/or facial by the SWCA cosmetology students. The salon is in operation from 12:30 to 1:30 or 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For appointments call 614-801-3450.

On the day of your visit to the Career Academy, start with lunch at the Jazz Street Cafe's Academy Grill. The grill is open to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays and features a variety of seasonal and every day favorite items on its menu -- all prepared by the SWCA culinary arts students. Items are sure to please even the most discerning of palates. To view the menu, go to https://goo.gl/q4p84e. Call 614-801-3400 to make a reservation, if you have a specific time in mind.

Currently, the South-Western City School District offers 16 different career-technical programs serving more than 740 11th- and 12th-grade students in high-demand career areas.

Last school year, 340 seniors earned 280 industry credentials. Nearly 20 percent of our career tech seniors also earned college credit, preparing them for two-year and four-year colleges.

Today's career-technical education programs prepare students to join a highly-skilled workforce, which requires advanced math, science, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills to better serve consumers.

From health care to cybersecurity to electrical trades and everywhere in between, Career-Technical Education in our schools helps students learn skills for the future. With hands-on experience using state-of-the-art equipment, on-the-job training through mentorships and internships, a rigorous curriculum, career certifications and credentials, and college credits upon graduation, the students involved in these programs have an upper hand in landing the career of their choice.

As the career tech students say, "What's Your Plan?" We invite you to pick a date, make your appointments and experience the excitement of Career-Technical Education at the South-Western Career Academy.

Sandy Nekoloff is the executive director of communications for the South-Western City School District.