By Fred Stabbert III
Town of Delaware Supervisor Ed Sykes sat back in his seat last Wednesday night, looking his...
Sullivan County BOCES is an educational service agency that delivers a wide-range of instructional and management services to its eight (8) component school districts as well as several other schools from throughout the Hudson Valley region. The BOCES employs over three-hundred (300) staff members in a number of different divisions including Career and Technical Education, Special Education, Alternative Education, Management Services and Instructional Support Services.
The BOCES works collaboratively with all of its school district customers to develop programs and create solutions to educational challenges. By creating services that are shared by multiple districts we are not only able to increase operational efficiencies but we are also able to reduce costs.
A member of both the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce and the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development; the BOCES works closely with a number of community partners, local organizations and businesses on a variety of projects, training initiatives, externship placements for students, and entry level career placements.
BOCES is committed to working with County industry to both create programs that prepare secondary students for careers in which they can secure employment as well as re-train adults to build their skill sets to not only increase their employability but also to assist them in their desire to establish a long-range career plan.
Our Career and Technical Education program offers juniors and seniors handson training in a variety of career fields. Each program works with an Advisory Board (consisting of key individuals/businesses within that industry) to develop and implement high quality programs that meet current industry standards. This will ensure that our students are ready for post-secondary employment or for further study at either two or four year colleges. Based on the feedback from our community partners, the Career and Technical Education Division will be launching two (2) new program offerings for the 2016-17 school year: Innovative Design and Basic Welding.
The Innovative Design program is a prime choice for students interested in art, technology, building/landscapedesign, engineering and gaming. Students will utilize modeling software and work with the latest technology to explore ideas, create plans and bring their new concepts and designs from two dimensional documents to 3D models. This program is ideal for students who are interesting in pursuing careers in game design, robotics, digital manufacturing, architecture, landscape design, animation, or designing and developing adaptive equipment.
BOCES will launch a second new program this fall, with the return of basic welding. This program is designed to prepare students for well-paying, skilled professional positions by combining hands-on technical training with classroom instruction. Students will develop an understanding and proficiency in the areas of shop math, blueprint reading, safety, welding joints symbols and positions, the use of oxy/acetylene and plasma- arc cutting equipment. MIG (GMAW), TIG (GTAW) and Stick (SMAW) welding processes are also included in the coursework. The goal is to prepare students for employment in industrial settings such as manufacturing, heavy construction, and repair shops.
Collaboration also occurs within the BOCES as the Career and Technical Education Center and the Adult and Continuing Education Division continually work together to develop programs that will benefit multiple student populations. While the Career & Tech Center focuses on high school students, the Adult and Continuing Education Program engages adults of all ages in their pursuit of lifelong learning. Students can take advantage of programs like health occupations, automotive repair, heavy equipment, and welding or they can pursue a high school equivalency degree or enroll in a variety of certificate programs, wellness classes, professional development workshops or personal enrichment and trade courses.
Partnering with local organizations is key to the Adult program, in addition to collaborating with the SC Chamber and the Partnership, the Adult program partners with The Center for Workforce Development, SUNY Sullivan, SUNY ATTAIN Lab, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Sullivan County Veterans Service Agency just to name a few. Through these partnerships the Adult Program is able develop programs to enhance the needs of the existing workforce as well as provide an array of training for businesses that is designed to meet their specific needs.
Working with the community is another important element for BOCES. Whether it is a community group or a non-profit organization, Sullivan BOCES is always willing to provide educational services or take on a project to help a non-profit organization. Some recent projects include the CTE- Construction Technology class building new concession stands at the Grahamsville Fairgrounds for the Neversink Agricultural Society, the CTE- Natural Resources class helping Cornell Cooperative Extension build a high tunnel greenhouse and the CTE- Culinary Arts class making lunch for the Federation of the Homeless. Not only do these relationships help the community, but they also provide valuable hands on learning experiences that at times lead to potential part-time or full-time employment opportunities for our students.
Students who attend Sullivan County BOCES learn skills, knowledge and work ethic for the 21st century. We foster positive outcomes for our students and we are a positive contributor to the Sullivan County economy. For more information about the programs offered at Sullivan BOCES, visit our website at scboces.org.