State and local officials visit the Warren County Career Center | News, Sports, Jobs

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity poses with students from the Warren County Career Center’s Protective Services Program during a Friday visit.

State Treasurer Stacy Garrity, State Senator Scott Hutchinson and State Representative Kathy Rapp visited the Warren County Career Center for lunch and a tour of the facilities.

The Virtual Academy’s Assistant Director of Services, Mike Cradduck, led the tour, showing visitors seven of the 12-program Career Center stores.

The tour also included stops at the STEM and STRIVE programs, both housed in the building, but technically separate from the Career Center programming.

Cradduck said the career center has an enrollment of 327 students.

Times Observer photo by Brian Ferry Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity tries out a virtual reality headset with help from Warren County STEM teacher Joe McClellan during a Friday tour of the Warren County Career Center and STEM and STRIVE programs.

The visit began with welding, where visitors saw a demonstration and received tokens of appreciation.

From there, the group saw the cooking side of the culinary program – they had lunch at the Hilltop Restaurant before the tour.

Bob Smith, TANF/Co-op Coordinator, spoke to Garrity about the opportunities Career Center students have to work with local employers before they graduate.

From 10 to 12 students in co-ops just a few years ago, there are 76 now, he said.

“The partnership with local industry is incredible,” said Smith. “Word is out, they are calling us now. They realize the advantage.

He said students at career centers work and earn a lot of money while they are still in school and many find jobs even before they graduate.

“It will encourage even more children to come here,” said Superintendent Amy Stewart.

Rapp thanked Smith for his efforts, saying the programs helped some students’ mental health. “One thing that can really stimulate someone…is employment”, she says.

Throughout the tour, Garrity said the Warren County Career Center should be a model for other counties.

At one stop, Hutchinson introduced visitors to some students, explaining that Garrity was checking out some of what Warren County has to offer. “Certainly, this place of learning is important.”

Stewart explained that the career center programs are growing. “Career and technology are where they are”, she says.

“We know,” Garry agreed. “We are pushing that.”

Garrity has seen students dissect pig and cow hearts as part of the medical assistance program and has spoken to junior firefighters and emergency medical responders in Protective Services.

The career center program tour ended with building construction trades and machinery technology.

At the STEM lab, Garrity tried out some of the virtual reality equipment.

The final stop in the building was the STRIVE program — a late but useful addition to the renovation, Stewart said.

STRIVE—Social Interaction, Transition Planning, Recreation and Leisure, Independent Living, Vocational Learning, and Career Exploration and Skills—is a program for students with certain disabilities that helps them transition from school to work or life. autonomous.

Garrity saw STRIVE’s “living room”, “hotel rooms”, kitchen, laundry room and workshop spaces.

“That’s wonderful,” she says. “What a beautiful program.”

“All of these programs are fantastic,” she says.

“You should all be proud of this place” Hutchinson said.

Stewart said bringing state officials to the district and the career center to get a first-hand look at what’s going on gives them a better basis to make education-based decisions.

“They are not experts in what we do”, she says. Go to “know what we are doing” help them to do “good decisions that will have an impact on children.”

“There is such a need in all 67 counties for skilled labor,” said Garrity after the tour. ” It is very impressive. The children are so involved. I think this center should be a model for all counties.

Garrity is on tour promoting the PA 529 College and Career Savings program.

“It’s not just for four-year programs,” said Garry. “It’s a great way for parents and families to save for their education.

The program has many tax benefits, and savings in a 529 plan do not affect eligibility for state financial aid.

Garrity remains in the county and will join Warren town officials and others for a panel discussion and downtown walking tour.

“Some of the places we plan to stop include Faded Floral, Rad Lands, Arbor House, Plaza, Allegheny Outfitters and Innovault,” said Councilman John Wortman.

The municipal police and fire stations are also on the program of the visit.

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