Inaugural P-TECH R.A.C.E. class kicks off year with picnic
Above: The inaugural P-TECH R.A.C.E. class.
Above: The Lackawanna students in P-TECH R.A.C.E.: Sebastian Hernandez, Kirby Heath, Shawn Shaw, Harith Salih, Howie Krause, James McDonnell and Matthew Bender.
The inaugural class for the P-TECH R.A.C.E. (Pathways in Technology Early College High School Route to Automotive Career Excellence) program celebrated the start of their journey with a picnic organized by Basil Family Dealerships.
Students and their families attended the picnic, which was held in August. Thirty-three students comprise this year's cohort, which extends to high schools at Frontier, Hamburg, Lackawanna and West Seneca. Lackawanna has seven students in the program: Sebastian Hernandez, Kirby Heath, Shawn Shaw, Harith Salih, Howie Krause, James McDonnell and Matthew Bender.
P-TECH R.A.C.E. provides ninth-grade students a free, one-stop shop for an education in auto technology and collision repair over the course of six years, merging high school, college and work-based learning. Participants undergo rigorous and relevant coursework that results in an Associate of Applied Science degree through SUNY Erie Community College, all at no cost.
Students begin P-TECH R.A.C.E. in the Automotive Technology and Collision Repair programs at the Erie 1 BOCES Potter Career & Technical Center in West Seneca. The program takes them through real-world experience working in paid internships with industry partners, including the following:
- Basil Family Dealerships
- Gabe's Collision
- Auto Collision & Glass
- Carubba Collision
- West Herr Automotive Group
- Northeast Collision
- Northtown Automotive Companies
- Fisher Auto Parts
- Niagara Frontier Automotive Dealers Association
- Towne Automotive Group
“Graduates of the P-TECH R.A.C.E. program will have direct access to careers in high-demand fields right here in Western New York, with strong earning potential,” noted Lori Smith, Erie 1 BOCES P-TECH coordinator.
The New York State Pathways in Technology (NYS P-TECH) program is a public-private partnership that prepares New York students for future high-skills jobs in technology, manufacturing, healthcare and finance. Recently, a $3 million NYS P-TECH grant was awarded to a Western New York consortium organized by Erie 1 BOCES. The Lackawanna City School District is serving as the lead educational agency for the grant, with Frontier, Hamburg and West Seneca schools also a part of the local consortium.