Senator Charles Schumer made a stop in the Capital Region, announcing his support for legislation to help train workers for high-tech industries. Our C.J. Spang has more on a local school district that already has that type of program.
MALTA, N.Y. -- Chris Orcutt didn't hesitate when he heard about a new program at Ballston Spa High School.
"As soon as I heard about the program, I was immediately hooked. I wanted to get in," Ballston Spa junior Christ Orcutt said.
The high school is offering a clean technologies and sustainable industries program in collaboration with Hudson Valley Community College, allowing students to take college-level classes at the Tec-Smart facility in Malta. Twenty-five high schoolers enrolled in the inaugural program this year, which is designed to educate students in the clean technology field.
"We're using things like we use in school, but we're using it in a way that we can use it in real life. A lot of times in class you're asking, 'Well, when are we going to use this outside of class in real life?' And just in this program, we really are," Orcutt said.
"We're not going to graduate and have this big surprise, like we don't know what we're doing when we get out of here. They're training us right now for jobs in this field," Ballston Spa junior Katelyn McEnteggart said.
After two years of the program, students can earn at least 20 college credits, a pretty solid head start considering a typical associate's degree is about 60 credits.
"I think regardless of what these students are going to major in in college. Whether they decide to major in business or graphic design, having a background in math, science and technology has become so critical to being successful in this economy," said Diane Irwin, Ballston Spa Science Coordinator.
Ballston Spa is already working to expand the program to other area school districts.