In June, 661 high school seniors from throughout Chautauqua, Erie, and Cattaraugus County were honored for successfully completing two years of study in Career & Technical Education programs offered by the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, including 20 from Chautauqua Lake High School and six from Westfield High School.
Since the beginning of their junior year, the students have spent nearly half of each school day at sites in East Aurora, Angola, Fredonia, and Ashville attending Career & Technical Education classes in specialized fields. Toward the end of their senior year, students had to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and experience by passing challenging national assessments and most had to successfully complete a three-week internship at businesses and organizations related to their programs.
For these students, there were many benefits for their participation in Career & Technical Education programming. In addition to receiving formal training in specialized fields of their choosing, students who successfully completed the programs and met the necessary requirements received a Technical Endorsement on their high school diplomas. Many were offered employment opportunities, and their participation in Career & Technical Education programs enabled many students to earn scholarships toward their post-secondary education, as much as $25,000. Additionally, students were able to earn professional and industry certifications and licenses, such as Home Energy Analyst Technician (HEAT) certification for Construction Technology students; the New York State Cosmetology License for Cosmetology students; Certified Nurses Aid (CNA) certification for Health Careers students; and the New York State Security Officer License for Criminal Justice students, just to name a few. Students were also able to compete in a variety of competitive events, some even representing New York State at the national level.
Students attended classes at the Hewes Educational Center in Ashville, the LoGuidice Educational Center in Fredonia, the Carrier Educational Center and Lake Shore High School in Angola, and the Ormsby Educational Center and Southside Academy in East Aurora. Graduates participated in the following E2CCB Career & Technical Education programs: Animal Care, Automotive Body Repair, Automotive Technology, Computer-Assisted Design and Drafting, Conservation/Natural Resource Management, Construction Technology, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Culinary Arts, Diesel Mechanics/Heavy Equipment Repair, Emergency Medical Services, Graphics Technology, Health Careers, Heating/Air Conditioning/Refrigeration, Information Technology/Computer Systems, Landscape/Greenhouse/Natural Resource Management, Motorsports Fabrication/Precision Machining, Pre-Engineering, Small Animal Science, and Welding/Metal Fabrication. Students were able to participate in these programs with the cooperation of their home school districts, including the 27 component districts that make up the E2CC BOCES.
“I couldn’t be more proud of all of our graduating seniors. These ceremonies were the culmination of two years of hard work and the students’ determination and dedication has truly paid off. I wish them all the best of luck as they enter the next chapters of their lives,” said Jeff Cervoni, Supervisor of Career & Technical Education Programs housed at the E2CCB Carrier Center and Lake Shore High School in Angola.
“These graduates were exemplary in all respects. Many of our students represented themselves admirably at career competitions, some going as far as the national level, and they collectively earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in academic scholarships. They should all be immensely proud of their achievements,” said Tom Huebert, Principal of the Ormsby Center in East Aurora.
“Whether they enter the workforce now with their experience and the skills they have developed, or whether they go on to college or pursue other post-secondary educational opportunities, I believe a bright future awaits them all,” said Christopher “Kip” Feinen, Principal of the Hewes Center in Ashville.
“All of our students came together with a common purpose in mind – to gain the skills and knowledge of a career they might pursue, or to continue their education by going on to college. These young ladies and gentlemen have become lifelong learners and have proven that they will continue to move forward, no matter what obstacles they come across. We are so proud of their success,” said Jose Pagan, Principal of the LoGuidice Center in Fredonia.
E2CCB Career & Technical Education programs combine classroom instruction with hands-on experience. Students enrolled in CTE programs may participate in workplace internships; gain knowledge, skills, and experience in specialized fields of their choosing; and have the opportunity to pursue valuable industry licenses and certifications – all while meeting the necessary requirements to obtain a Regents Diploma.