Career and Technology Center – opportunity

HUGHESVILLE– Lycoming Career and Technology Center provides educational opportunities to students that go beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. The school, 293 Cemetery St., has eight programs and a co-op that are available for tenth to 12th graders at Loyalsock Township, Muncy, Hughesville, Montoursville and Warrior Run high schools. Instructors give the 330 students a hands-on experience where they learn the tools of the trade throughout the three years they participate in the program. The students do half days at the school either in the morning or afternoon. Students can sign up for culinary arts, health careers, early childhood education, construction, computer technology, drafting and criminal justice. There is also a co-op experience where students can be on the job to get school credit and get paid. The goal is to give students the skills to get a good job within the local community, Eric Butler, executive director of the school, said. “The students are here because they want to be,” he said. Each student attending chooses to attend so they are more engaged with the content they are learning. All of the teachers are experts in the field before they started teaching at the school, he said. None of them have prior teaching experience so they earn their teaching certificates on the job. Students can benefit from the instructors’ experiences because they know what the industry is like. In the culinary arts program, students learn the basic skills to make soups, entrees and desserts, Brian Anstadt, culinary arts teacher, said. Through its Lyco Cafe located in the school, students are given real world experience by serving customers and preparing a set menu on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, he said. Sharon Bowling, a senior at Muncy High School, has been in the culinary program for three years where she has learned everything from knife skills to cooking complete dinners with sides. Her interest in food came from cooking with her grandmother, she said. She was interested in building the skills she was taught. Through the program she has been able to make connections with colleges and talk with people in the industry. “You learn exactly what it’s like,” she said. After high school she hopes to attend college and eventually open up her own cafe. In the construction program, students are taught a wide variety of skills during their three years. Once they have completed the work, they are set for a general contracting job, Butler said. “They know a little bit of everything,” he said. Students cover units in carpentry, masonry, electrical and plumbing. To work with any of the equipment, students must pass safety exams with 100 percent in order to use them. Trey Heiss, a senior at Warrior Run High School, was inspired to go into construction by seeing his father do work around the house. “It persuaded me to do this for a career,” he said. His favorite parts of the program have been the plumbing and carpentry sections as well as getting to build relationships with other students. After going through the school, he said he feels prepared to enter the workforce once he graduates. He hopes to get a job with a contractor. In the automotive program, there are three levels where students learn to service vehicles which are brought in from the public. The garage has the tools that would be in a dealership garage, Butler said. It makes for a high end training foundation. Students leave with certifications to change oil and do state inspections which guarantees them a job, he said. Health careers is a pre-nursing course where many of the students after high school study to be a nurse or go into a specialized field such as radiology, he said. The school has simulator dummies that will mimic different conditions as well as the an exam table and sterilizing station. In all of the programs there is a level of academic standard that must be met, Butler said. The books students are using are college level so being able to comprehend what they are reading is essential, Butler said. Also having good math skills helps them succeed.