Inaugural CAM P-TECH Class Participates In Summer Bridge Program

SPRINGVILLE – High school freshman from all across the Greater Erie County area embarked recently on a non-traditional pathway to college and career readiness.

The class, comprised of students from the Springville, Orchard Park, Iroquois, Holland, Gowanda and Eden school districts, will represent the first year cohort for the WNY Careers in Advanced Manufacturing Pathways in Technology Early College High School Academy.

The students spent four days learning to work together in teams and getting to know their instructors at summer bridge.

“I think CAM P-TECH is a fantastic opportunity,” said Joseph Antonio Jr., an incoming CAM P-TECH freshman. “We can get everything we need to set us up for life.”

P-TECH breaks the traditional mode of high school education. The program offers students an opportunity to complete high school and college simultaneously while gaining critical career experiences along the way.

“It’s more of a non-traditional school. We’re thinking outside of the box,” said Jacob Baker, a CAM P-TECH freshman who plans to focus on Computer Science. “Not everyone is going to have this opportunity.”

CAM P-TECH is a joint venture between Erie-2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES, its component school districts and Alfred State. Supported by the Erie County IDA, BNMA and industry leaders, P-TECH offers students the opportunity to learn through a project-based curriculum leading them down one of two distinct career pathways. Students who complete the program will earn a NYS Regents Diploma and an associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems or Associate in Occupational Studies Degree in Electrical Construction and Maintenance Electrician.

“My vision is to see students graduate, be able to enter the workforce and be job-ready with the skills that are needed to compete for the jobs of tomorrow. Not today. Jobs that haven’t even been created yet,” said Mr. Daniel Palumbo, CAM P-TECH project lead.

The CAM P-TECH program is a commitment for students willing to break away from traditional classroom settings, but the results can be well worth the change.

“I’m excited to teach students who have chosen to be a part of CAM P-TECH and excited to teach students that recognize this is what they need,” said Chelsey Smith, CAM P-TECH living environment and algebra instructor.

CAM P-TECH students will have the opportunity to benefit from specialized and personalized hands-on learning in classroom settings tailor made for the workplace environments they’ll find themselves in after finishing the program.

“We are delighted to bring this partnership with Erie-2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES and Alfred State to Springville. Our community is one that is hard working, future thinking and committed to expanding opportunities for residents,” said Kimberly Moritz, Springville-Griffith Institute superintendent. “The fact that our students can earn an associate’s degree that will lead to gainful employment in high needs fields right here on our Springville campus is a huge bonus for our families and we hope will lead to expanded learning opportunities for our community through adult

education in the future.”

In 2020, a new, state-of-the-art CAM P-TECH facility will open in Springville to house the growing classes and offer even more opportunities to students. Currently, CAM P-TECH will reside within the walls of Springville-Griffith Institute High School.

But not everything has to change for CAM P-TECH students.

While students are bused to-and-from from their home schools to the CAM P-TECH classrooms in Springville, they don’t have to miss out on extracurricular activities. Students currently participating in WNY P-TECH STEM College and Career Academy in Dunkirk maintain their home school friendships and participate in athletic programs.

CAM P-TECH students will tour the recently opened sister facility and meet students enrolled in a similar program in Dunkirk on Aug. 20. The field trip is a great way to show students some of what they can expect when they move into their own space in 2020.

“P-TECH is a partnership that allows a home school district and family to work together to find the right program for the right student,” said Janeil Rey, Director of Workforce Development. “Our Dunkirk program is beginning its fourth year and the success our students are experiencing is rewarding and empowering for them.”

For more information on enrolling an incoming freshman in CAM P-TECH, please call Janeil Rey, Director of Workforce Development, at 716-549-4454, ext. 4026.

CAM P-TECH student Jacob Baker of Springville prepares a drone as part of one of the many Summer Bridge activities.
CAM P-TECH students spent a few days outside working on team-building activities.
Chelsey Smith, CAM P-TECH living environment and algebra instructor, is pictured working with a student during Summer Bridge, a four-day-long event used to introduce students to each other and to the program.