At a Glance
Representatives from local construction companies participate in information sessions with Upper Bucks County Technical School Construction Cluster students, who then are invited to apply for interviews with the company.
During the months of January, February and March, when construction companies typically have slower schedules and conduct planning for the upcoming year, Upper Bucks County Technical School (UBCTS) invites local construction companies to address Construction Cluster students. Speakers cover the following topics:
- History and current information on the company,
- Advancement and educational opportunities that the company provides,
- Successful UBCTS graduates at this company (if applicable),
- Website review of the company,
- How to apply to the company and the importance of the application, resume and portfolio submitted,
- Attributes that the company is looking for in an employee, and
- Why employees have been released from the company.
Prior to each presentation, instructors provide students with a brief overview of the company and professional guidelines for attendance and participation. All Construction cluster students attend the presentations, which run approximately 45 minutes. During the presentation, the School to Work Coordinator and teachers monitor the information session.
Interested students remain after the conclusion of the program to speak to the employer on an individual basis. The presenter provides the students with information on how to apply for a job with the company. The School to Work Coordinator creates an interview schedule for those students who are interested in employment. Interviews take place at either UBCTS or the company site.
Origin / Implementation
In 2012, UBCTS developed this program in order to make students aware of potential employers and the skills necessary to secure employment. Another driving force for creating the program centered on building business and industry partnerships for the program as a whole.
The School to Work Coordinator begins the invitation process in early fall and coordinates the visits between the conclusion of the District SkillsUSA Competition and the NOCTI preparation period. Outreach is conducted by contacting the Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce, Pennridge Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors and the Pennsylvania Builders Association. In addition, companies who request to speak to students are included in the sessions.
Results / Impact
Administrators report many ways in which the program benefits students and instructors. Some students have received Cooperative Education placements or full-time positions following graduation. For those students who do not receive such opportunities or are not interested in employment at the time, they come away with contacts for their future career paths. Both students and teachers receive up-to-date information about the workplace and its requirements. Teachers also may make valuable contacts for potential Occupational Advisory Committee members and NOCTI evaluators.
UBCTS anticipates continuing the presentations. It is hoped that this model may be used in additional career clusters.
Upper Bucks County Technical School
Marilyn Reese,M.Ed, School to Work Coordinator