Editor’s note:

The following is Part 2 of a three-part series on the Corry Career and Technical Center’s metalworking occupations program and problems apparently associated with that program.

Members of a former Occupational Advisory Committee for the metalworking occupations program at the Corry Area School District’s Career and Technical Center have raised several questions concerning the program.

The committee viewed the program as deficient overall.

More specifically, some major concerns centered on inadequate space of classrooms and laboratories where machines are kept, inadequate ventilation in laboratories, state mandates, updated training and certification of teachers, outdated curriculum, students not earning national machining and national occupational certifications through testing, and students graduating without employable skills.

How valid are the committee’s conclusions? What did they do to form their opinions about the program?

To reach their conclusions, the committee worked with Judy Sharer, who was the former director of Corry CTC, and committee members did their homework.

• They toured the metalworking/welding room of the CTC.

• They held a meeting with metalworking/welding instructor John Dougherty and voiced their concerns about the lack of technology in the classrooms and lack of current technical knowledge.

• A member of the committee, Brian Bills, of Tonnard Manufacturing, donated a Haas lathe and training computer units.

• Businesses donated raw materials, lubricants, fluids, bits for lathes, and coolants.

• They encouraged students to take field trips to local businesses.

• They toured the Crawford County Career and Technical Center metalworking program and attended one of the advisory committee meetings.

• They toured Precision Manufacturing Institute in Meadville, a private school for training in the manufacturing industry. Through an articulation agreement with PMI, Corry CTC students may obtain credits from there while in high school.

• They reviewed textbooks.

• Kept minutes of all meetings they held and attended, including minutes of meetings at the Crawford County Technical Center and Precision Manufacturing Institute.

• Attended a banquet and awards ceremony this past April for the Career and Technical Center.

Brenda Biedrzycki of Corry Manufacturing, who was a member of the advisory committee, said the committee members determined the metalworking program at the Corry CTC needs to be more efficient.

“We discussed the options of a new layout, rearranging the machinery to optimize space,” Biedrzycki said. “We encouraged the instructor to expand instruction and focus on NIMS (National Institute of Metalworking Skills) certificate. It gives students something to show when they are seeking employment in their field.”

See the Journal's Tuesday, September 1st edition for full story.

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