The P-Tech program allows students to enter the labor market well-trained
By Steve Yablonski
P-Tech (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) is an economic initiative that benefits not only students but also businesses in the region.
There are currently approximately 38 P-Tech programs in the state. The Oswego County P-Tech program was launched in 2016.
It is already bearing fruit as the first group of graduates is already entering the labor market.
The case in point is Emmalee French, a new employee at Novelis.
âI got involved with P-Tech by watching two different presentations at SUNY Oswego on one tour and one at my college in eighth grade,â she said. “After hearing about it, I got more information about it from my advisor.”
She then completed an online application, received two letters of recommendation from two different teachers, and waited to see if offered an interview.
âFortunately, I did. I went through the normal interview process and waited to hear back to see if I was accepted; and, here I am now, âshe said.
She is an electrical technician, working in the hot rolling mill. The starting salary for this type of position is approximately $ 32 per hour.
A demanding program
Yes, the lessons are tough, she said.
âYou will certainly have a hard time following the program. But there are a lot of people who are more than willing to help you get through the tough times, âshe said. âI liked the fact that they integrate outside students into university courses. It makes you venture out and talk to new people who take the same classes, but with different experiences. It can help you see things from a different perspective.
One thing that didn’t particularly matter to him was that they didn’t incorporate so many people from different programs with the students.
âThere were a lot of familiar places, but that only got us so far. So when there were other people outside of the mixed P-Tech classes, I felt like I had a lot more class, âshe explained.
She said she chose electricity because she loved math.
âWhen I was watching the electricians it was still a lot of hands-on activities, which I thought I was going to lose because I didn’t choose the mechanics,â she said. “I’m very glad I chose electricity, it keeps me really busy.”
Interested in Novelis
She said she had always been interested in working for Novelis since hearing about the program.
âSo when they asked me to do an internship, I obviously accepted it! Then, after doing the internship, I knew that I wanted to work with them full time and luckily for me, they offered me a full time position at the place where I did my internship â, a she declared.
Lindi Murray is Novelis’ human resources business partner. She is the P-Tech leader at Novelis and also serves as a student mentor.
âNothing we do in manufacturing, especially at Novelis, would be possible without our people. Innovative technologies, complex machine centersâ¦ it’s all designed, maintained and managed by people, âshe said. âPrograms like P-Tech help us actively participate in the development of future STEM and manufacturing professionals. “
Workforce development is a key priority
âWe need highly qualified people. Whether it is electricians, engineers, technical craftsmen … there are many opportunities for well paying and rewarding careers and programs like P-Tech are so essential to our industry as they help to create a strong pipeline of STEM and manufacturing professionals to fill these roles, âsaid Murray.
âWe are grateful to our industry partners, community leaders and educational partners for the continued support of P-Tech,â she added. âThis program is a great example of what thoughtful and focused collaboration can accomplish. “
What she expected
âYeah, that’s about what I expected since I worked with these guys for almost a year as an intern before I came full time,â French said. âThere is a lot to learn for me in this area and I am really excited about all the things that are going to come out for me in the future. “
âThere is room for advancement, whether it’s just for how much you get paid based on your level of experience or even to change jobs altogether,â she said. âIt really depends on what you’re looking for. “