Syracuse 8th-Graders Try on Career & Technical Education Tracks at Fowler Leadership Academy

Jan 17, 2018

Syracuse 8th graders got a chance to test out technology, such as welding, manufacturing, robotics and drones, to see if they want to chose a Career & Technical track for high school.
Credit John Smith/WAER News

Syracuse City Schools 8th graders are getting to explore what future careers might be for them.  The Career and Technical Education Expo was held Wednesday at the Public Service leadership Academy at Fowler.

Twenty-six programs covering professions such as the expanding drone industry, cosmetology and becoming an electrician or a welder were on display. 

24 Tech Careers on Display for Students @ Fowler, Thurs. 5 - 8 pm

8th graders will soon choose if a C-T-E track of study is right for them as they enter 9th grade.  All it takes is a fulfilling experience that leads to a spark of interest.

Johnson Center Senior Mergim  Ademi from gave 8th graders an opportunity to attempt a virtual reality welding simulator complete with a virtual torch.

Welding simulation part of the Career and Technical Education Expo
Credit John Smith/WAER News

“See how he has the weld at a 90 (degree angle), connecting both pieces of metal?  That’s perfect.  That metal is going to be kind of smoldering the pieces of metals together and that’s … going to be pretty strong.”

Afterwards he provides instant feedback to the student who realizes that he may have a natural-born talent. 

The welding company which makes both simulators and the real deal also specializes in robotic welders.  Lincoln Electric’s Aaron Oyster says welders play a key role in programming the machine for mass assembly-line parts and products such as automobiles.

If it’s done on a repeated basis, you put it into a robot; that company can be more productive.  And the biggest thing is, if the company is more productive they’re going to keep their jobs here. And even better, if the student knows how to program that robot, it’s going to give them a higher ranking position within that company, and possibly earn a lot more money that way.” 

A pay scale for a career that student Ademi is very interested in.

“Their salary could be up to $36,000 or $40,000 a year.  And they probably get $25 to $30-an-hour.”

Syracuse City Schools Director of Career and Technical Education Robert Leslie says aligning kids with a career track fits into the broader goal at the Public Service Leadership Academy and other schools.

SCSD Career and Technical Education Director Robert Leslie
Credit John Smith/WAER News

“We focus on 12 career-readiness standards so the kids learn foundational skills about communication, team-building, working together, all those … skills that employers are looking for.  That’s what our core is about, those soft skills that we want kids to have as they graduate and get ready to go get jobs.”

1300 students in the city school district are presently enrolled in the C-T-E program.  Parents and the public are welcome to experience the 4th annual Career and Technical Education Expo Thursday, January 18th at the Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler High School at 227 Magnolia Street from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.  The expo is located in the gymnasium.