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Listening to Our Business Consultants and Mentors
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
Members of the business community who are consultants and mentors to the Career and Technical Education’s Work-Based Learning program attended a dinner held in their honor at the F. Donald Myers Education Center on March 30.
The Consultant Committee/Work-Based Learning Mentor Dinner provided an opportunity for the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex BOCES to thank the business and industry members for their support and to gather feedback from them on the Career and Technical Education program’s curriculum.
The CTE Consultant Committee consists of a cross section of local and regional employers, local representatives in the field, such as manufacturers and distributors, program graduates, representative of industry organizations or associations and postsecondary education representatives.
The Work-Based Learning mentor aspect of WSWHE BOCES’s CTE programs links school learning to work through internships, which add real-world relevance to the program’s curriculum. Students gain workplace skills and knowledge from the world of work, interact with people of all ages and explore career paths. In addition, students get career direction, learn how to get employment and are shown paths to higher education.
“We wanted to hear from our business partners to make sure we stay on target with the skills we’re teaching they’re future employees. Our consultants and mentors are our bridge to the world of work. They are our best resource for guest speakers and sponsorships. We value their input and this was an opportunity to gather everyone together in one room.”
Eric Eddy, a network consulting engineer for Cisco, is an alumnus of the Cisco program that was offered at the Myers Center. He continued on to college attending Rochester Institute of Technology where earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Networking and Systems Administration. He is a consultant to the current Cisco program that is now an early college high school program called Information Technology/Networking. This is one of two of the Career Academy programs in which WSWHE BOCES partners with SUNY Adirondack. Click here to learn more.
As a consultant, Mr. Eddy has visited the classroom and talked about IT careers, coordinated field trips to Cisco and set up a replica of a real-world network in the classroom.
“I’m very impressed with the program. When I landed the position at CISCO, my colleagues told me how lucky I was to have received such great training so early. I was way ahead of the curve. I wish the college credit had been available to me. It would have shaved a semester off my college expenses. I would have saved nearly $20,000.”
Clifford Oliver from Clifford Oliver Photography also attended the dinner. He has mentored several students from the Graphic and Visual Communications program who have experienced internships at his photography business. Students had the opportunity to shadow him, work with high-end photography equipment and learn about the billing and paperwork side of owning a business. He added, “I really like everything about the Work-Based Learning program. It provides students with practical knowledge, real hands-on knowledge they can use. It’s such a valuable program.”