Course seeks to meet the growing need of local businesses
Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical School and Mohonasen Central School District have partnered to create Tech Valley Manufacturing & Machining Technology, a new course for high school students that will launch in September 2012.
Designed for high school juniors, the course — which is also open to seniors — will be a BOCES program that is located at Mohonasen High School. Students may enroll in Tech Valley Manufacturing & Machining Technology through their high school guidance counselors.
Tech Valley Manufacturing & Machining Technology will put high school students on the pathway to such careers as assembler, CAD designer, CNC machinist, CNC programmer, machinist, manufacturing technician, inspector and production technician. Students who go on to earn a minimum of two years college, with an associate's degree in electrical/mechanical engineering, and/or a bachelor of science degree in engineering, will be prepared for employment as mechanical designers, project engineers or commissioning engineers.
The course was developed in cooperation with local business and industry, professional associations and local colleges in response to rising demand for skilled manufacturing and machining professionals. Advancing technology and the retirement of experienced professionals have created an acute shortage of skilled workers needed to fill high-paying jobs in the field.
Tech Valley Manufacturing & Machining Technology students will learn how today’s high-tech companies take cutting-edge products from concept to consumer using the latest technology and methods to compete in a global marketplace. They will take field trips and may participate in job shadowing experiences at the region’s leading advanced manufacturing companies, such as Greno Industries Inc., GE Energy, Simmons Machine Tool, PVA and Atlas Copco.
Students will be able to participate in internships with industry professionals while learning the skills needed for a successful career in manufacturing. Math (year one) and English (year two) are integrated into the technical curriculum to improve students’ technical math, reading and writing skills. Students will also learn vital workplace skills sought by today’s employers, including teamwork and self-direction, reliability and work ethic.
Discussions are underway to offer college credits for Tech Valley Manufacturing & Machining Technology through Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady County Community College. Many two- and four-year colleges offer programs in mechanical engineering, which is directly related to manufacturing and machining technology. Two-year colleges and technical schools also offer courses in CAD and manufacturing technology.
Representatives of businesses, Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady County Community College met earlier this year with BOCES Career & Tech and Mohonasen teachers and administrators at the Career & Technical School's Albany campus to discuss the pressing need for the program and offer their support, ideas and feedback.
The concept gained support in early April when Congressman Paul Tonko visited Mohonasen High School to voice his support for the new course and joint effort by BOCES and Mohonasen to respond to local, regional and national needs. The Congressman's interview on the topic may be viewed by clicking on the video links on the Tech Valley Manufacturing & Machining webpage.
For more information and to view videos of Congressman Tonko, visit the Tech Valley Manufacturing & Machining webpage.
In the above photo from left: Congressman Tonko, Career & Technical Education Executive Principal Terry Swett, Mohonasen K-12 Science Administrator Gerald Garing and High School Principal David Collins discuss last fall the need for the new program.