Chances are, if you are a skilled craftsperson living in our area, you’re either self-employed or you’ve got a job, and you are likely very busy. That’s because this sector has more job openings than any other area of our economy. With a significant shortage of skilled contractors of all types, and a rapid rate of retirement in the field, these services are at an all-time premium in our area. That means more opportunity and better pay for those with the required skills, and a significant opportunity for us to grow our trade and service-based economy.
To help meet this need, the Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance has recently partnered with the school counselors at Ticonderoga High School on a new program to promote career and technical training to young Ticonderoga residents. The program consists of several components designed to create new interest in these careers and ultimately put our own residents to work right here in our own community. The components are:
1. In 2019 Ti-Alliance applied for and received a $95,000 rural business development grant to provide funding for our school budget in the form of tuitions for Ticonderoga High School seniors to attend vocational training through the CV-TEC program in Mineville. The grant has been renewed for the 2020/2021 school year for a total of nearly $200,000 of support for vocational education for our students.
2. A Quick Reference Guide to Skilled Career Programs designed to help counselors, students, and parents sort out all the training options available and figure out how to connect with them. It outlines the training available to high school juniors and seniors through BOCES/CV-TEC, and which programs are taught at which regional schools at the college-level. The brochure made its debut at the Ticonderoga Career Fair on March 27, 2019.
Ticonderoga school counselor Eric Heckman said, “Our partnership with the Ti-Alliance has been nothing but positive. With their help, we’ve been able to deploy this Quick Reference Guide in a very short time. Now we have all of the important information on one page to help our students pursue careers in the trades. As school counselors, we are very excited to have this invaluable additional resource. We look forward to continued collaborations with Ti-Alliance. “
3. Support for the Ti High spring career fair to expand the participation of local tradespeople and service providers. In 2020 Ticonderoga Schools will participate in a combined Essex County Career Day that will expand the students' exposure to even more exciting careers.
4. A Summer Intern Program to connect students interested in the trades with local contractors, plumbers, electricians, restaurants, and other trade jobs for 8-week summer internships. Students work side by side with full-time workers for a hands-on learning experience.
5. A "Contractors in the Classroom" Program enlists the help of local contractors to bring professionals into the classroom to work side-by-side with students. The goal of this project is to expose students to careers in the trades with hands-on experience and skilled mentors, and directly connect students with potential employers and encouragement for training. Read more about this project at Contractors in the Classroom.
6. The Trade Education Scholarship fund ensures that anyone in our area that desires an education in the trades is not restricted by their finances.
We are focused on building a stronger skilled workforce for the Ticonderoga Area. Getting our young people connected to training in occupations where they can live and work right here is essential. Whether they enroll in BOCES/CV-TEC at the high school level, or go on to Associates Degrees and certifications at the college level, there are jobs waiting for them right here in our community.
Local professionals interested in hosting a summer intern or participating in "Contractors in the Classroom" can contact Donna Wotton at email@example.com. Students interested in interning this summer can contact their guidance counselor at Ti High.