Willow Grove, PA - Governor Tom Wolf visited the Eastern Center for Arts and Technology (EASTERN) today to talk with students about their employment goals and watch a demonstration of their skills. The students led the governor, legislators and local education leaders on a tour of the career and technical education center (CTC) in Montgomery County. Expanding opportunities for students to get hands-on training for jobs in high-demand industries is a priority for the governor.
“The vo-tech of the past has been transformed into advanced career and technical centers where students can get an education and develop real-world skills,” said Governor Wolf. “There isn’t a one-size-fits-all path for every high school student and CTCs give students options to choose which path is best for them. After graduation they can continue their education in college or a job training program or enter the workforce.”
There are more than 80 CTCs in Pennsylvania that offer a combination of classes and hands-on learning in programs approved by the Department of Education. Thousands of students earn industry credentials or certifications for local jobs in high demand, so they graduate on a path for success.
The governor’s groundbreaking PAsmart initiative is investing $70 million over two years to expand science and technology education, apprenticeships and industry partnerships, including $10 million for CTCs. The Eastern Center for Arts and Technology will invest its share of the funding to create a robotics and automated technology program starting next school year. The Wolf administration also awarded EASTERN a competitive equipment grant of $8,813 to help purchase three welding machines.
“We are honored that Governor Wolf chose to tour EASTERN today,” said Dr. Cathleen Plesnarski, executive director, EASTERN. “We appreciate his support of career and technical education. Career and technical education provides cost-effective ways for students to explore, clarify and pursue their career goals and opens multiple pathways to success for our students.”
Since Governor Wolf took office the number of CTC students has increased by more than 27 percent and the number of students earning industry-recognized credentials has increased by 34 percent.
During the visit, students told the governor about their experiences and future career plans. The students led the governor on a tour of the veterinary science, construction technology, welding technology and practical nursing programs and provided a demonstration of their skills at each stop.
EASTERN serves ninth through twelfth grade students in nine school districts: Abington, Hatboro-Horsham; Springfield; Bryn Athyn; Jenkintown; Upper Dublin; Cheltenham; Lower Moreland and Upper Moreland.
For more information about pursuing an education and career in Pennsylvania at any stage of life, visit PAsmart.
MEDIA CONTACT: J.J. Abbott - 717-783-1116
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