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Latest News from the Career and Technical Center

From graduation to job and college for this new welder, CTE graduate 


"I was prepared, challenged and put right to work," graduate states

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Just 11 months ago, Samantha Petrosino had never welded. Today, she is a professional welder and aspiring college student thanks to Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE).

Petrosino started working full-time on June 19, 2017 at Lancaster Development and Tri-City Products — just 10 days after graduating CTE and days before graduating from Middleburgh Central School District. She will work there repairing heavy equipment until October when she departs for the National University Polytechnic Institute in San Diego to pursue a degree and certification in commercial diving/underwater welding.

"I was prepared, challenged and put to work right away," said Petrosino via a text message. "Capital Region BOCES prepared me well because it taught me how to be safe in a shop and how to be productive."

"Having prior knowledge of some of the machines and welding helped me be able to get right to work with the rest of the welders," Petrosino said.
Petrosino only learned how to weld during her senior year, when she entered the CTE welding program in Mohonasen's Center for Advanced Technology.

Welding teacher Chris Panny said Petrosino was at the top of the class.
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"She was one of my best students. She was eager to learn and always prepared," he said.

Despite growing up in an education family her mother, Lori, is the junior high/high school principal in Middleburgh — Petrosino had a goal of getting out of school as fast as possible until she entered the CTE program.

"I wanted to graduate early. I didn't like the whole atmosphere, but then I came here," she said during an interview earlier this year.

"I am a hands-on person and I get to come here half a day and work and enjoy school and then I get to go back to Middleburgh and learn what I need to," said Petrosino.

Petrosino, who was also on Middleburgh's cheer squad, enjoyed the challenge of learning in a traditionally male-dominated field.

"It really confuses people. They say, 'you're a welder?' and I tell them 'yeah,
it's fun.' They don't know what to say. It challenges what people think," she said.
"I love it. Women power all the way."

While the industry is 94 percent male and largely consists of men near retirement age, according to the United States Department of Labor Women's Bureau, Petrosino is not the only female welder at Lancaster Development, said Nancy Liddle, CTE's business liaison who has also worked with the Schoharie County company.

"I spoke to people in the company and she fit right it and went right to work. By all accounts, she is doing a great job," Liddle said.

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