Chamber serves as conduit between education and business

The Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Business Education Partnership (BEP) continues to connect Hamilton Fulton Montgomery BOCES (HFM BOCES) and programs such as Pathways in Technology Early College High School (HFM PTECH) and Agriculture PTECH (Ag PTECH) with our regional businesses to help support a well-prepared, capable and adaptable workforce.

The Chamber is the conduit between education and business throughout the region. Over 40 regional businesses have signed on as partners with HFM PTECH since the opening of the school in 2014.

In order for HFM PTECH students to have the academic, technical and workplace skills needed for today’s workforce, businesses help the school address these needs by mapping backwards from workplace to school from real 21st-century careers.

This is formally known as skills mapping. The overall goal is to select a task (e.g. maintenance on 3D printer) needed to complete a job and highlight those characteristic traits (e.g. team work), skills (e.g. electronics concepts) and habits of mind (e.g. positive attitude). Skills mapping ensures that the curriculum will meet the promise of being “career-ready” for PTECH students.

With that being said, 43 percent of HFM PTECH seniors are on track to graduate with a High School Diploma and an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in May 2018.

About 10 of those seniors will be looking to go directly into the workforce.  Businesses should know that we have this pool of talented students with professional skills and a two-year degree from FMCC that are graduating in May.  For any business that may be interested in these students, who have followed career pathways through their PTECH experience in Advanced Manufacturing, Business, Information Technology and Health Studies, student bios will be available in January of 2018. Please contact me for more information.

 Now in its fourth year, HFM PTECH continues to strive for success. Here’s a rundown of some of the numbers from the 2016-2017 school year that puts HFM PTECH on the map:

– 844 college classes have been completed

– 94% pass rate for college classes

– 65% of students considered above average or superior by Fulton-Montgomery Community College (A’s/B’s)

– 96% retention rate of HFM PTECH students

– 88% of students passed the ELA regents 1.5 years ahead of schedule

On another exciting note, classroom space at HFM PTECH will be transforming into a prototyping lab in the next few months. This space will include equipment for students, business partners and entrepreneurs in the community to design and make their own creations.

Among the types of equipment HFM PTECH is considering for the space are 3D printers, laser cutters and engravers, sewing machines, soldering machines, a CNC (computer numeric control) machine, a kiln, a pottery wheel and CAD and Adobe computer programs. Although not all of these items are likely to be included for the opening, the prototyping lab will continue to expand based on the needs of the school and others who use it.

For this prototyping lab, HFM PTECH is searching for inventors, small business owners and local entrepreneurs who are looking to bootstrap a project. HFM PTECH’s goal is to not only provide equipment in the lab for projects, but to also provide an atmosphere for students to consult with business mentors and to collaborate with other students and business professionals throughout the capital region.

Please contact Nicole Walrath at nicolew@fultonmontgomeryny.org for further information on how to become involved with HFM PTECH. Follow HFM PTECH on Facebook or visit www.hfmboces.org/programs-services/ptech.  You can also follow the HFM Business Education Partnership on Facebook or find out more on the Chamber’s website, www.fultonmontgomeryny.org/pages/business-education-partnership or call the Chamber at (518) 725-0641.