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Certain occupational areas require specific skills or competency mastery that can best be obtained or demonstrated in a laboratory environment with real items or projects. A laboratory environment introduces the "customer dimension" into personal service occupations such as cosmetology and provides real-world working conditions to such industrial and technical occupations as auto mechanics, auto body repair, welding, building construction, and others.

Live work includes projects which are approved to provide realistic training for students. Students and members of the community may have services rendered in those programs and departments conducting live work. The live work plan supports and enhances the course curricula. Live work does not replace or interrupt essential course content or sequence; therefore, scheduling of live work is based upon course scheduling and the curricula that are being taught during a particular term and only performed during normal operating hours. Live work projects shall not be of a production nature and do not compete with private enterprises.