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News from the Career and Technical Center

High school students embark on mission to learn skills for in-demand careers  


2017-18 school year launches at Capital Region BOCES CTE


More than 1,100 high school students (an 8 percent increase!) from across the Capital Region will enter the world of automotive repair, welding, nursing, restaurant management and video game design — to name just a few careers — as they return to school this week and start training for life outside of high school.

Hailing from 23 school districts in Albany, Schoharie and Schenectady counties, as well as southern Saratoga County, students at the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE) will start their two-year or one-year journeys on September 6.

Some are returning seniors, others first-year juniors, but they all have something in common — a desire to learn marketable career skills while still in high school. These skills — dubbed middle skills — are in demand, with everyone from President Obama to Gov. Cuomo sounding the alarm in recent years over the need for workers to fill the middle skills jobs gap.

Television personality Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" fame has carried the message to Congress, testifying in front of Congressional panel in recent years about the need for students to learn these skills. In New York, about 60 percent of the job openings are in the “middle skills” classification, but less than 40 percent of the available workforce has those skills, a job placement expert said last year.

Many CTE students will earn certifications that allow them to enter the workforce upon graduation, but will opt to go on to college or technical school to build on those certifications.

As the students enter the CTE classrooms, laboratories and workshops for the 2017-18 school year, they will encounter many new faces and a multitude of new equipment — all of which is present to ensure that the students are armed with the latest technology and knowledge used in their chosen fields.

Flying high above the list of new equipment that students will have at their fingertips as they prepare for middle skill careers is a Phantom 4 Drone for the commercial construction/heavy equipment program.

“The drone purchase is the direct result of feedback from business advisory committee members who advised us that drones are being used in all aspects of commercial construction now," CTE Deputy Director Dr. Valerie Kelsey said.

Other new equipment purchases include a microcomputer-controlled steam sterilizer and autoclave for use in the sterile processing technician class, as well as a 3-D printer and a tool room lathe for the machining program, a motorcycle lift and hydraulic portable lift for the automotive program and point-of-sale systems for the culinary, cosmetology and retail programs. Numerous other computers, printers and equipment purchases were also made to ensure the latest technology is available to students.

But knowledge and expertise doesn't just come from equipment; it also comes from people. To that end, CTE hired more than a dozen new faculty and teaching assistants for the new school year, many of whom bring direct experience in the industries about which they will be teaching.

For example, new global fashion teacher Chloe Perazzelli has more than five years of experience working with such major industry leaders as Ralph Lauren and J. Crew in the American hub of the fashion design world — New York City.

Likewise, new sterile processing technician teacher Melvin Husband enters the CTE classroom fresh from experience working at Albany Medical Center and new welding teacher Donald Mattoon, a CTE graduate himself, brings nearly a decade of experience in the industry to the CTE classroom, including his most recent stint at Northeast Precision Welding, where he not only services and welds turbines and related equipment, but also trained employees.

"It has been an extremely busy summer, but we have hired some extremely knowledgeable and talented faculty and staff members and ensured the latest and greatest technology greets our incoming students," Kelsey said.




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