CTE Works! Offers Interactive Career Exploration

On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, local industry partners and WSWHE BOCES hosted CTE Works! Students in 8th and 9th grade, from school districts throughout the WSWHE BOCES service area, came to the one-day interactive career exploration event held at the Saratoga Springs City Center. Students were exposed to the world of work in the local region which showcased the myriad of career opportunities available right in their own backyard.
The event kicked off with a motivational presentation by Tay “Firefly” Fisher. Tay is a former Harlem Globetrotter; current basketball league and clinic founder and president; cancer fight for a cure fundraiser; and graduate of Kingston High School, Siena College and The College of Saint Rose. During Tay’s time with the students, he talked about what motivated him to continue his hard work and determination, no matter the obstacles in his life. He told students to choose their “why”, have confidence in themselves and strive for their goals. He emphasized making good decisions because the bad ones can follow a person their whole life. His career and travels opened up his eyes to the amazing people, places and cultures around the world. He said that respecting and embracing other cultures makes life more wonderful. 
On the CTE Works! floor, local companies were on hand to discuss pathways in their industries and offer interactive activities showing examples of their work. Event sponsors were on hand as well which included the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, GlobalFoundries, The Workforce Development Institute, RASP Inc., Saratoga Springs City Center, Curtis Lumber, D.A. Collins Companies, SUNY Adirondack, Day Automation, TCT Federal Credit Union, Teakwood Builders, several WSWHE BOCES and CTE program current students and instructors who discussed their classes and opportunities afforded to them while in the program and after graduation. 
Principal for Innovative Programs at WSWHE BOCES and CTE Works Committee Member, Michelle Maddalla, said, “it is critically important that young people meet local industry partners, experience a bit of what they do and learn about the outstanding opportunities they can have working right here in their own city or town. We encourage these interactions. CTE Works! is one of many experiences we offer that allows students to figure out what they like to do, what they want to do and what they dream they can do in the future!”
Students and their instructors from the Culinary Arts & Hospitality programs provided breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks to the event volunteers as well as the booth attendees for the day. 
Regional stakeholder committee members included individuals from Espey Manufacturing and Electronics Corp., TCT Federal Credit Union, Warren County Employment & Training Administration, North East Fire Protection Systems, Inc., Saratoga Economic Development Corp., and Pallete Stone/D.A. Collins.