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Latest News from the Career and Technical Center

Students seek career, hands-on work through machining program at CTE


Jobs beckon for those who complete the machining and manufacturing program


According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 30 percent of high school students graduate with no plans to attend college and little or no job skills.Ethan Lawless

Taking that a step further, of the 68 percent of high school students who do attend college, 40 percent don't finish with a degree.

But a handful of students enrolled in the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE) manufacturing and machining program are on a path to success, as they plan to graduate high school with marketable skills in a highly recruited occupation.

"I chose the machining program because it's a good career that pays well," said Brendon Wellek of the Niskayuna Central School District, a student in the CTE machining program.

Indeed, the students in Charlene Vice's new program at the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Technology at Mohonasen could have their pick of jobs in the Capital Region and beyond once they finish the program.

"We have businesses calling us every day looking for graduates to fill jobs," said CTE Business Liaison Nancy Liddle.

Besides the availability of jobs, the pay is attractive as well — especially for those who stay in the career for a couple of years. In 2016, the average machinist in the United States earned $43,1605 annually, including pay and benefits, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Locally, the compensation is much higher. Last year, Capital Region experts at a manufacturing forum said the starting pay for machinists right out high school without experience is between $40,000 and $45,000. Kids work with a milling machine

Current CTE students say the job prospects and salary, as well as the ability to learn and work with their hands, are major factors in their decision to learn the trade.

"I like to work with my hands. I work on a few farms and I just want to continue working with machines and using my hands,” said Chris Zautner, a student from Voorheesville. “If class continues to be so interesting, I most definitely would choose a job as a machinist.”

"I like the opportunity it gives you," added Ethan Lawless, a student from Guilderland.

The top picture shows Ethan Lawless of Guilderland; the bottom photo shows Brett Margiasso of Ravena and Chris Zautner of Voorheesville in the CTE machining lab.



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