Students in the inaugural PTECH class had the opportunity to mingle and engage with representatives from the school’s sponsor businesses during a morning mixer on August 7 at the Jansen Avenue School.
The event brought the inaugural class of the new Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES Pathways in Technology Early College High School (PTECH ) and members of the business community together for the first time. During the next six years of the PTECH program, the students will establish relationships with employees of the partner businesses, who will mentor them in various career fields.
The morning’s events included a “treasure hunt” in which the students were tasked with finding out more about the business representatives, a panel discussion that allowed the students to ask their business partners questions about their careers and a “power lunch” where the conversations between students and adults could continue.
“We want to keep you here, and we want to keep our businesses here,” Dave Agee of Curtin-Hebert Machines and AirJet Technologies told the students. “We know there’s a lot of talent in this room.”
“We want to help mold the program that’s going to produce our future employees,” said John Millet of Bouchey & Clark.
Shawn Czadzeck of Townsend Leather shared his enthusiasm for his own career and told the students he hopes to help them engage their passions. “We want to create a community of passionate people because it’s better when people are passionate about what they do.”
Attendees of the mixer included: Ben Towne and Shawn Czadzeck,Townsend Leather; John Millet and Tim Salls, Bouchey & Clark; Gail Breen, Workforce Solutions; Bethany Denno, Center for Economic Growth; Carrie Armenio, Beechnut; Patty Laux, NBT Bank; David Agee, Air Jet Technologies; and Mike Ladd, CISCO.
The morning mixer was part of PTECH’s three-week Summer Bridge program, which ran July 21 through Aug. 8. The first two weeks of the program took place on the Fulton-Montgomery Community College campus, where students participated in challenging academic activities in math, science, English and social studies, as well as a First Year Experience college-readiness class. Students spent the third and final week of the program in their PTECH classrooms at Jansen Avenue School in Johnstown, focused on teamwork and culture building to prepare them for the start of school.
The PTECH students will return to their classrooms to officially begin their academic year on Sept. 4.