By Christine Graf
New York State P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) programs have been designed to address critical skilled labor shortages that are impacting manufacturing and technology companies throughout the state.
Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex Board of Cooperative (WSWHE BOCES) was the first to offer the program locally. It is called Southern Adirondack P-TECH.
“We were one of the first 16 cohorts (partnerships) in New York state to receive a seven-year grant to create the program. We received the grant in 2013, and that was a planning year for us. Our first cohort of students started in 2014 and are graduating this year,” said Kim Wegner, lead coordinator for Innovative Programs at WSHWHE BOCES.
“There wasn’t a lot of guidance. It was a thought and idea based off a program that launched in 2009 at a school in Brooklyn. (The state) decided they wanted to expand program across state. There were some guidelines, but we built the program as we moved through it. Where we are today is not where we were six or seven years ago.”