Two Capital Region BOCES programs have been selected as “top” Career and Technical Education programs by a national organization.
The Commercial Construction/Heavy Equipment and the Manufacturing and Machining Technology programs were deemed by the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education at the Southern Regional Education Board (NRCCTE) as a “Quality Career and Technical Education Programs.” The NRCCTE is working with the New York State Education Department to identify a small, representative sample of “high quality” programs and chose the Capital Region BOCES for the honor. As a result, a research team from the Georgia-based organization visited the two programs on April 9 and 10 to see how they function and include their review in an overview of what makes programs high functioning. They are stopping at 28 other programs across the state as part of the visit.
The designation and accompanying research into the program by NRCCTE will be used as part of a national effort led by J.P. Morgan-Chase to expand high-quality, career-focused career and technical education programs. The result of the study, as well as the recommendations for expanding career and technical education, will be presented to the New York Board of Regents. Funding for the state’s funding for career and technical education program will also be guided by the study’s findings.
“It’s a great honor to have these programs recognized. Like the rest of Capital Region BOCES’ offerings, the Commercial Construction/Heavy Equipment and the Manufacturing and Machining Technology do an exemplary job of preparing students for careers that are in demand. This designation underscores the commitment that Capital Region BOCES has to ensuring students successfully navigate to the next phase of their lives,” said Dr. Valerie Kelsey, deputy director of Career and Technical Education for Capital Region BOCES.
Students in the two programs – machining is located at the Center for Advanced Technology at Mohonasen and commercial construction/heavy equipment is located at the Schoharie Capital Region BOCES campus – say they appreciate the opportunities they afford.
“I enjoy the ability to learn a skill while I am still in school that I can use to get a good-paying job in an environment I enjoy,” said Drew Wideman, a machining student from Berne-Knox-Westerlo (BKW) schools.
Emily Elsis, a senior from Middleburgh in the heavy equipment program, already has a career lined up thanks to her experiences in the program.
Through Capital Region BOCES, Elsis received an internship at Lancaster Development, a major highway contractor. That internship – working three- to four-hours a day, five days a week – turned into an apprenticeship through the Empire State Highway Contractors Association. Through the apprenticeship, Elsis is trained one month a year at the Association’s school in addition to the training she is receiving at Lancaster.
“I wouldn’t have any of this if it weren’t for BOCES,” said Elsis.
Students in the Commercial Construction/Heavy Equipment Program learn the knowledge and skills to enter construction industry or pursue further education in college or technical school. They learn everything from equipment operator and maintenance skills to how to construct a building. The students can earn National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) certifications, which are recognized nationwide by contractors and employers.
Students in the Manufacturing and Machining Technology Program learn through a myriad of partnerships with area business the latest skills necessary for careers in skilled manufacturing, machining and advanced manufacturing. They learn how products are taken from concept to consumer using the latest technology to compete in a global marketplace.