February is Career and Technical Education month in Pennsylvania and, as a graduate of the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, I am proud to honor the achievements and accomplishments of career and technical education students and the administrators devoted to delivering this critical component of Pennsylvania’s public education system.
The career and tech center has provided education for nearly 50 years. It is committed to delivering a quality career and technical education for the betterment of Lancaster County’s economic development and all of Pennsylvania.
After graduating from the Willow Street campus in 1979, I obtained immediate employment, fulfilled my four-year apprenticeship and proceeded to start Astro Machine Works in 1984 with three other partners. In 2006, I had the honor and privilege to be named president and CEO.
My life has been greatly enhanced by the excellent education I received at the career and tech center, and at Astro we currently employ more than 110 employees, many of whom are career and tech center graduates like myself.
Every student who wants to attend a career and technical education center — whether in Lancaster County or elsewhere in the state — should be able to do so. However, this education is not available to all students who want to attend because many school districts simply cannot afford to enroll all interested students in those programs.
The career and technical education subsidy that’s part of the state budget each year represents less than 8% of the total cost to fund career and technical education, and federal Carl Perkins grant funding covers roughly 2% of a career and technical education center’s budget.
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