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From graduation to job

ALBANY, 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. Pierre said.

 

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. Pierre said.

 

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 approximately 9,300 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 School.

         
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