Teachers see tech center preparing students for a career

Greensburg-Salem High School junior Alyssa Matz hopes to attend vocational school and work in a machine shop after graduation.

Mattes was one of the people who spoke to about 15 teachers in several school districts about the career preparation program at the Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center this week.

When educators visited vo-tech this week, Mats was busy developing a robot for the school’s robotics club with Greensburg-Salem seniors Chris Adams and Raymond Moffitt.

Mattes said he would advise teachers participating in the Teacher in the Workforce program to encourage girls to enter robotics and manufacturing.

The Westmoreland-Fayette Workforce Investment Board’s Teacher in the Workforce program launched in October. Designed to help public school teachers and administrators familiarize themselves with the needs of the workplace. Teachers can tour workplaces, career and technology centers, conduct job shadows with employers, and interact with employers to develop a better understanding of what students need to prepare for the workforce. It’s helpful.

The program has attracted 37 educators from 11 of the county’s 17 public school districts. It operates in partnership with 15 companies in manufacturing, healthcare, technology, business services and trade.

Janet Ward, Executive Director of the Workforce Commission, said:

This program is funded by a $250,000 grant from a private foundation.

On Thursday, teachers toured Stellar Precision Components Ltd., Jeannette’s machine shop and Penn Township Ambulance, where Director Ed Grant gave an overview of careers in emergency medical services.

For Jackie Polakowski, an 8th grade science teacher in Southmoreland, the educational programs she saw “prepare students for a career of a lifetime.”

Alexander Novikov, Assistant Director of the Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center, which has approximately 1,200 students from nine school districts, said: “The program is industry-related and career-related.”

From the perspective of BotsIQ, a partner of the Workforce Investment Commission in Southwest Pennsylvania, this is a huge opportunity for teachers to see what students have available in vocational training, manufacturing workforce development. said Michelle Conklin, executive director of BotsIQ. A program of the Pittsburgh Chapter National Tooling & Machining Foundation.

“This allows us to know what skills are needed to enter the workforce and what skills are needed to help them (teachers) connect teaching to the real world. You can,” said Conklin.

Mattes said he hopes educators will encourage more young girls to participate in manufacturing programs.

About pursuing a career where women make up about 17 percent of the primary metal manufacturing workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Matz said:

Todd Bartlow, a powerline instructor, said teaching students the skills to become powerline workers is a way to attract qualified workers from power companies such as Greensburg-based West Penn Power and Pittsburgh. He said it was a path to “high-paying jobs” with “huge demand”. Based in Duquesne Wright.

Polakowski suggested that the Career and Technology Center should have an 8th grade component to introduce students to what the center has to offer.

Polakowski said he hopes the government will allow 9th grade students to attend the Career and Technology Center like other school districts.

Janet Junior High School teacher John Karlicker said he wanted to pass on the enthusiasm of the students attending the Career and Technology Center to his students.

“It’s what they need,” says Kerlicker. “I can see why they love it here.”

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Tribune-Review. You can reach Joe by email at jnapsha@triblive.com or on his Twitter. .

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