Getting a head start

PHOTO PROVIDED Students from left are Garrett Worth, Dylan Berguson, Evan Fink, Jeremy Wenger, Owen Knepp, Alex Trunzo, Jason Stringfellow, Alec Carpenter and Anthony Shaffer.

JERSEY SHORE — Jersey Shore Senior High has 10 students (juniors and seniors) enrolled in the Pre-Apprenticeship program in coordination with the Pennsylvania College of Technology Workforce Development and Continuing Education Department and the Department of Labor and Industry.

The goal of the program, begun at the start of the 2018-19 school year, is to narrow the gap in necessary skills that can sometimes occur between what is provided in a school setting and what is expected in the workplace. Through participation, students receive nationally recognized credentials that will benefit them in a post-secondary environment. Many of these credentials are offered through the Manufacturing Skills Institute with the students having the potential to earn three levels of certification. Students who participate are working to achieve a Manufacturing Technician (MT1) nationally recognized certificate.

Participation in the program begins with a Pre-Test. The results determine the area of focus for the student at the secondary institution. If there is an area of content in which the student still needs assistance online modules, provided through Tooling U, are used as a supplemental educational learning tool.

“The modules provided by Tooling U expand on classroom knowledge in the manufacturing field,” stated Garrett Worth, a senior participating in the program.

“The pre-test was great in showing me what areas I need to work on to get my certificate. I’ve already learned so much in my manufacturing class,” said Worth, when asked about his participation in the program.

Enrolled students will take trips to and tours of businesses related to the manufacturing industry in the local area, as well as visit PCT to see how these earned credentials relate to the college setting.

“The pre-apprenticeship program as a whole is preparing us for the workforce, college, or other apprenticeships. It’s been a great experience so far,” Worth said.

At the end of the school year the students will retest for the MT1 certificate.

Pennsylvania College of Technology supplements the cost of the pre-test and post-test, as well as provides access to PCT Labs and supplemental learning tools.

Participating students have the opportunity to attend PCT activities throughout the year designed to expose students to the labs, career fairs, apprentices programs and post-secondary opportunities at the college.