SPRINGVILLE – Students at Springville-Griffith Institute could soon have another educational opportunity as the Pathways in Technology Early College High School program was presented to the board of education during their Feb. 6 meeting.
Erie 2 BOCES P-TECH Director Dr. Janeil Rey talked with the board about the P-TECH program and the opportunities it gives to students. P-TECH is a five or six year program for students starting in ninth grade that provides an accelerated path to earning both New York State Regents Diploma and an associates degree.
“I am happy to be here with such an eager partner in Springville and we are very excited about this partnership to launch P-TECH,” Rey said.
The P-TECH program at S-GI would be partnering with Alfred State College and students would be able to enroll in one of two majors – electrical construction and maintenance electrician, and computer information systems.
“The reason we chose those two pathways is because of the high demand for skilled workers in those areas,” Rey said. “If you have seen the news last spring, they did a series of the job tsunami, a prediction that 10,000 jobs are going to open in Western New York over the next five years for which we don’t have a pipeline to fill … the jobs where you need more than a high school education, but not quite a four-year degree.”
While S-GI would be the partner district, Rey said the P-TECH program would also work to recruit other students from neighboring districts including Iroquois, East Aurora, Orchard Park, Eden, Gowanda, Holland and North Collins. Rey said that because this is a BOCES program, this would allow S-GI to generate BOCES aid on the tuition paid for students enrolling in the program.
When fielding questions, board member Tyler Sullivan asked about plan for establishing mentorships and internships with local companies. Rey said that as of right now, they are focused on recruiting students to the program, but the next step after that is setting up business partners to serve as mentors and provide work-based challenges to the students.
After Rey’s presentation, Jeff Nann from Gordon W. Jones Associates and Nick Humphrey from Campus Construction Management talked with the board about the capital project portion of P-TECH. Nann said that the program would be based inside the district office building, which would need to undergo renovations to make room for the classrooms, lab equipment and more needed for the P-TECH program. At a previous meeting, S-GI Superintendent Kim Moritz assured that this capital project would be no cost to the taxpayers.
Humphrey later discussed the upcoming timeline of the P-TECH project with the board. At the next board of education meeting on March 6, there will be another presentation on P-TECH with more details and a the board would vote on whether to move forward with the project. Once the project is approved, the board would vote at the March 20 meeting to adopt the SEQR process and to approve going out for a referendum. Before the vote, there will also be a public meeting to inform the community about the project.
“It’s very exciting,” S-GI Board of Education President Allison Duwe said.
The next S-GI Board of Education meeting will be held on March 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the high school library and media center.