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Pre-apprenticeship program provides career pathway for cyber school students

High school students from CCA receive technical training from professionals and explore potential career paths in the construction industry.

Commonwealth Charter Academy cyber student is able to pursue non-traditional career path with help of pre-apprenticeship program at ABC Keystone.

CCA prides itself on creating career-ready students. A Lancaster County program is helping provide students with hands-on and work-related experience the public cyber charter school feels is necessary to train the next generation of workforce employees.

CCA students recently successfully completed a pre-apprenticeship program at Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Keystone Chapter in Manheim.

ABC Keystone, a trade association established in 1959, is part of the national Associated Builders and Contractors association. The pre-apprenticeship program was created to address the growing demand of Pennsylvania schools to offer options to students interested in exploring trade-related, skilled occupations, which is in alignment with CCA’s mission to prepare today’s students for the careers of tomorrow.

“I am here to take a step further and guide myself toward what I want in the future. This program has made it easier to see what to expect so that I’m not confused when I go into the workforce,” said Jacquelyn, a CCA student from Pottsville. “Having this opportunity made me think that I could do so much more with my life after I graduate.”

The pre-apprenticeship program introduces students to construction, math, blueprints, hand and power tools, materials handling, rigging and more as well as classes on communications and employability. Completion of the program gives students credit toward a variety of vocational trades offered by ABC Keystone.

“Students have been directed to four-year post-secondary options for many years. The effects of that as a sole direction, combined with the imminent loss of 40 percent of the construction industry’s workforce due to retirement, has contributed to a workforce shortage and makes it imperative that we have skilled young workers entering these in-demand trade fields,” said Stephanie Larkin, vice president of Education, Safety and Workforce Development at ABC Keystone. “We are grateful for the opportunity to provide technical training to students from across Pennsylvania through our pre-apprenticeship program and subsequent registered apprenticeships.”

CCA continuously works to identify partnerships with organizations across the state that provide students with the opportunity to explore various career paths.

“CCA is committed to ensuring that students are prepared for post-high school success, and I appreciate ABC Keystone for providing CCA students the opportunity to explore specialized career areas,” said Dr. Maurice Flurie, president and CEO of CCA. “It is critical for students to gain real-world, hands-on experience to help guide them toward success in whatever field they choose.”

The following five CCA students were part of the 13-student class participating in ABC Keystone’s pre-apprenticeship program:

  • Jacob, grade 12, of Dover
  • Jacquelyn, grade 12, of Pottsville
  • Elliot, grade 11, of Akron
  • Logan, grade 12 of York
  • Sean, grade 11 of Harrisburg

Enabled by CCA’s flexible, personalized educational programs, students were able to complete their schoolwork while participating in the program over the past 12 weeks.

“In this program, they definitely know what they are doing. It’s a lot of hands-on experiences and something that I’m enjoying,” said Elliot, a CCA student from Akron. “CCA opens a bigger time frame for me to do my internship, field trips and this apprenticeship. It definitely provides more time in the day and better, easier time management.”

The National Center for Education Statistics has previously reported that those with a technical education were more likely to be employed in their specific field of study than those with academic degrees.

Furthermore, according to the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, there are about 30 million jobs in the United States that don’t require a bachelor’s degree that pay up to $55,000 annually.

CCA students concluded the ABC Keystone program on Friday, Dec. 13 and now have the option to apply for a registered apprenticeship with the organization.

Author

Commonwealth Charter Academy

Published

January 15th, 2020

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Tech Tune-Up Days: September 1-3, 2020

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