Local students called on to replenish workforce

By Perry Russom

June 23, 2014 Updated Jun 23, 2014 at 6:22 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) SUNY-Broome was the first meeting place for the newest members of P-TECH. It's a high school and college mentoring program set to replenish the local work force.

P-TECH is an acronym for Pathways Technology Early College High School Program.

Monday was the first meeting of the first P-TECH class in the state.

"The summer workshop that they're participating in now, they're looking at collaboration and team building, as the students are from a variety of schools and may not know each other," said Dawne Adams, project coordinator for P-TECH.

The program is free for the students paid for with state grants.

"It's based on topics that I liked like engineering and heavy equipment," said Brock McWherter of Harpursville.

The goal of the program is to take economically disadvantaged students throughout the area and mentor them through high school and college.

For the next six years, they'll be paired with an industry mentor in either engineering or health services to help them along the way.

"The thing that they're asking is that the workforce coming out be, have those soft skills, the skills of communication, collaboration and working with a team," added Adams.

To be in the program, the kids have to match a certain set of criteria.

They had to be economically disadvantaged, have parental support and potentially be the first in their family to go to college.

The hope is once these students graduate from college, they'll be employed in and help replenish the local workforce.