Program Helps Teen-Agers Choose Career Path

Published 06.06.2002


Thirty area teen-agers will receive hands-on training and gain knowledge of career fields ranging from carpentry to computer-aided drafting in the Summer Youth Career Awareness Program, to be offered in July and August at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

The program, which is for teens ages 11-15, is sponsored by Penn College's Technology Transfer Center, the Williamsport YMCA, STEP Inc. and the National Black Child Development Institute.

The students will perform workplace-type tasks, learn to interact and cooperate in groups, and explore vocations to which they may have had little exposure previously.

Career areas to be covered include aviation, carpentry, child care, computer applications, culinary, drafting/computer-aided drafting, electrical, environmental, forestry, heating and air conditioning, horticulture, machining, paramedic, plumbing, and printing and publishing.

Penn College faculty members will provide the instruction. The sessions will take place on the College's main campus in Williamsport, the Lumley Aviation Center at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville and the Schneebeli Earth Science Center near Allenwood.

STEP will administer English and math tests to the participants before and after the training to monitor the students' skills improvement. The students hail mostly from the Greater Williamsport area served by the YMCA. They are being recruited by STEP, which also provides program supervision. The National Black Child Development Institute will conduct an "Entering the College Zone" presentation at the conclusion of the program in August.

"The Technology Transfer Center is delighted to provide career-awareness training to give students experiences that will help them choose a career," said William H. Herald, project coordinator for the TTC. "The value of the training is that students can also identify careers they do not want to pursue. Our approach is hands-on. We provide educational preparation, information and expected earnings in the career field. Technology will be emphasized and is illustrated by an E-Commerce presentation by Penn College Technology Transfer staff.

"It also provides an opportunity to build bridges to the community through the inclusion of the parents in the process. The collaboration and partnership among STEP, the YMCA, the National Black Child Development Institute and Penn College provides these youths a chance to select a satisfying, meaningful career."

The program begins with a parents' orientation on June 27. Daily training, which lasts from 8:30 a.m. to noon, will begin on July 8 and continue through Aug. 13. A post-session parents' meeting is scheduled for Aug. 14.

In the past, some "graduates" of the Summer Youth Career Awareness Program have enrolled at Penn College after completing high school.