P-TECH program, a local company launches a student workforce development effort
NEW HARTFORD – The Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) and Indium Corporation recently completed the first season of a new student workforce development program.
The program, which started in May, aims to create career paths for P-TECH students and address the growing skills gap facing local businesses by facilitating hands-on employment opportunities.
P-TECH offers an integrated high school and college curriculum with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), while providing workplace skills including leadership, communication, and resolution. of problems.
While students have always done internships with P-TECH’s business and industrial partners, this new initiative gives them even more opportunities to gain real-world work experience, according to program officials.
The Student Workforce Development Program is the product of a conversation between P-TECH student Breanna Newman and Indium Corporation Associate Vice President Rick Short. Newman had discussed job opportunities and part-time work with Short at a pre-pandemic business partnership event and continued to follow him via email. His persistence and drive paid off, inspiring Short and his team at Indium to consider programs they could implement to engage with similarly motivated students.
After much thought and some hurdles, like changing Indium Corporation’s policies to allow hiring of people under the age of 18, the Student Workforce Development Program became a reality.
“The ability to create such a program came in large part from the buy-in of our supervisors who would welcome the hard-working students,” said Jim McCoy, Supervisor of Talent Acquisition at Indium Corporation.
“Our staff already knew, as a business partner, the value that P-TECH students could bring to our business and that this program would help create a stable workforce while alleviating the financial burden of recruiting new talent. “, added McCoy.
“We are proud to continue our partnership with P-TECH as we nurture our community’s native talent pool and help bring them into the professional world,” said Short.
“P-TECH OHM is a training and development ground for the students of our community and a source of our next generation of teammates. P-TECH does an exemplary job in preparing and training the professionals of tomorrow in many fields, ”added Short.
The new Student Workforce Development program aims to teach students professional skills such as communication, problem solving, collaboration and meeting deadlines, while reinforcing concepts learned in their university courses.
This is done by matching the development of practical skills consistent with the students’ field of study to work projects that support the functioning and growth of the business.
Newman, a fourth-year P-TECH student from the Utica City School District, became the first student to participate in the Student Workforce Development Program; she was soon joined by Evan Pugh, a sixth year P-TECH student from the Whitesboro Central School District.
The two students are currently majoring in Business Administration at Mohawk Valley Community College.
From May to September, Newman worked as a purchasing clerk and Pugh in IT support, both becoming part-time employees of Indium Corporation after the summer program ended.
“One of the objectives of P-TECH is to eventually have students employed by our company
the partners. This program is an opportunity for our students to experience a job with one of our strongest partners in a different way and a lot
sooner than they would normally get, ”said Erica Schoff, Director of P-TECH OHM.
P-TECH and Indium Corporation plan to continue offering the Student Workforce Development program to prospective students the summer before their final year of high school.
Students will have the opportunity to apply and be interviewed for positions in the spring of their junior year, with multiple students eligible to participate each year.
The program’s investment in workforce development is critical to the region’s economic success, addressing long-standing obstacles that have hampered the advancement of local businesses and high school and college students. community colleges.
“We believe that materials science is changing the world and that our success is a direct result of the attention people pay to Indium. Students are the next generation of our families, our community and our workforce. We are proud to partner with P-TECH OHM to ensure that students are fully equipped to enter the workforce after graduation and build a strong future – together, for all. We look forward to welcoming more well-prepared and ready-to-work P-TECH students into our Indium family, ”said Dawn Roller, Associate Vice President of Human Resources at Indium Corporation.
• To learn more about P-TECH OHM, go online at: www.oneida-boces.org/ptech.
• For more information on Indium Corporation, visit the website: www.indium.com.