The new beginnings of spring bring with them opportunities for graduatng vo-tech students excited about new internships and careers to see their future unfolding with great chances for success. They can visualize what life will be like after graduation as they plan for this next step in their lives.
Many students at Butler County Area Vocational-Technical School will move straight into the workforce, or into apprenticeships and other placements..
Machine technology student Gregory Branchen, 18, of Penn is interviewing at Penn United Technologies in Cabot in hopes that he’ll land a job by the time he graduates. He’s excited to join the workforce straight out of high school.
“It’s all uphill from here,” Branchen said.
Heavy equipment student Cody Johnston, 17, of Saxonburg was accepted to International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 where he will go through a paid, four-year apprenticeship before taking a full-time job with the union.
It’s a dream come true for Johnston, who grew up on a farm raising horses and cattle and working with machinery.
“It’s something I’ve wanted to do my whole life,” he said.
The vocational-technical school has about 805 students enrolled in 16 programs including heavy equipment, carpentry, graphic arts, culinary arts and cosmetology. Students attend from Butler Area, Karns City, Mars Area, Moniteau, Seneca Valley, Slippery Rock and South Butler school districts.
A study of 306 Butler vo-tech graduates from 2013 found that 92 percent of them had been “gainfully placed” in employment in their field, employment outside their field, military service or pursuing additional education.
There are 400 seniors expected to receive certificates of completion May 28 at Butler County Community College Field House.
Joseph Cunningham, vocational administrative director for the school, said even as the cost of education rises, school districts see the merit in a vocational-technical school like Butler’s for the work-ready students it graduates.