Vo-tech students get 'on-the-job' training
Although a lot of students spend their high school years preparing to further their education, others have a different future ahead of them.
Students in the Connellsville Area School District interested in entering the job force immediately after high school can attain the training for a variety of occupations at the North Fayette Area Vocational-Technical School.
The vo-tech was originally built for not only CASD, but also the Frazier School District to provide vocational and technical education to its students.
Connellsville Area acquired the private use of the school when Frazier decided to drop out of the partnership last year.
Of the 1,485 students enrolled at Connellsville Area High School, approximately 400 attend classes at the vo-tech - 200 in the morning and 200 in the afternoon.
The school combines classroom instruction with laboratory work and on-the-job training, utilizing business, industry and labor in the community.
According to Jim Duncan, CASD assistant superintendent, what the school offers students goes beyond education.
"It offers students hands-on training in a controlled program. The benefits are tremendous for the students," he said.
After contacting a guidance counselor at the high school, students can fill out an application to attend the school. Students can choose from a variety of programs of study including:
A cooperative education option is also available for seniors, which transforms the community into a classroom. Students attend high school for half the day and then report to assigned employers to complete their work experience.
In February, the school held an open house in recognition of National Vocational Education Week, sponsored by the American Vocational Association - a professional membership that serves educators and administrators in all fields of career and technology education.
At the open house, the school presented a demonstration of car maintenance by auto service students, blood pressure checks by health assistant students, nutrition tips by food service students, home maintenance and construction advice by carpentry students and consumer tips by marketing/retailing students. In addition, free information regarding programs at the school was given out at the event.
As a part of the celebration, graphic arts/offset printing students helped create a placemat, which was distributed throughout the community, and door prizes donated by various programs were awarded at the open house.
The school has also recently held registration for adult education classes, including auto body, PA state safety inspection program, PA emission inspector certification and re-certification, cosmetology, graphic communication-printing and welding I and II.