From graduation to job
N.Y. (May 17, 2019) -- Odds are excellent that a paid union
apprenticeship – not a college campus – is in the near future for Albany
High School senior Jason St. Pierre.
And that’s fine by him.
St. Pierre is one of six Albany High students who will take part
in a “signing” ceremony on Monday, when they’ll acknowledge their intent
to go into the workforce after graduation.
Through Abrookin Career and Technical Center, Albany High offers
10 career pathways to students in a variety of skilled trades, applied
sciences and technology. Seven of the ten pathways -- including
construction technology, the one St. Pierre pursued – are endorsed by
the New York State Education Department.
St. Pierre opted for the construction technology route after he
learned about the classes from a friend. He’s always been interested in
seeing how things work – how flipping a switch on a wall turns on a
light on the ceiling, for example. Construction technology was a great
fit for his interests and his learning style.
“I’m more of hands-on person. You can tell me something 20 times
over and I’ll forget right away, but show me once and I’ve got it,” St.
Within construction technology, St. Pierre gravitated towards the
work of electricians. Aside from his interest in the subject, he wanted
to avoid the long-term physical stress of other construction trades.
“I don’t want to be in my 40s and having back pain,” he said.
In addition to the advanced-level construction technology courses
he is finishing at Abrookin and his other Albany High work, St. Pierre
is completing a pre-apprenticeship with the Tri-City Joint
Apprenticeship Committee, a partnership of the International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers Local 236 and the National Electrical Contractors
Association Albany Chapter.
For the past three months, he has hoofed it to Latham three days
a week after school and studied from 4:30-8:30 p.m. He already passed
the construction technology industry-level exam.
When he graduates in June, he will have earned 200 hours and a
huge competitive edge for a coveted paid IBEW apprenticeship and a
technical education endorsement on his high-school diploma.
That means by the age of 23, he could be a card-carrying
journeyman electrician. And that's his goal.
“I want to stay with the union because I’ll be set for life,” St.
The mission of the City School District of
Albany is to educate and prepare all students for
college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our
diverse community. The district serves
students in 18
elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood
schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as
well as other innovative academic opportunities for students,
including four themed academies at Albany High