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Inaugural P-TECH R.A.C.E. class kicks off year with picnic

P-TECH R.A.C.E. studentsThe inaugural class for the P-TECH R.A.C.E. (Pathways in Technology Early College High School Route to Automotive Career Excellence) program celebrated the start of their journey with a picnic organized by Basil Family Dealerships.

Students and their families attended the picnic, which was held in August. Thirty-three students comprise this year's cohort, which extends to high schools at Frontier, Hamburg, Lackawanna and West Seneca.

P-TECH R.A.C.E. provides ninth-grade students a free, one-stop shop for an education in auto technology and collision repair over the course of six years, merging high school, college and work-based learning. Participants undergo rigorous and relevant coursework that results in an Associate of Applied Science degree through SUNY Erie Community College, all at no cost.

Students begin P-TECH R.A.C.E. in the Automotive Technology and Collision Repair programs at the Erie 1 BOCES Potter Career & Technical Center in West Seneca. The program takes them through real-world experience working in paid internships with industry partners, including the following:

  • Basil Family Dealerships
  • Gabe's Collision
  • Auto Collision & Glass
  • Carubba Collision
  • West Herr Automotive Group
  • Northeast Collision
  • Northtown Automotive Companies
  • Fisher Auto Parts
  • Niagara Frontier Automotive Dealers Association
  • Towne Automotive Group

"Graduates of the P-TECH R.A.C.E. program will have direct access to careers in high-demand fields right here in Western New York, with strong earning potential," noted Lori Smith, Erie 1 BOCES P-TECH coordinator.

The New York State Pathways in Technology (NYS P-TECH) program is a public-private partnership that prepares New York students for future high-skills jobs in technology, manufacturing, healthcare and finance. Recently, a $3 million NYS P-TECH grant was awarded to a Western New York consortium organized by Erie 1 BOCES. The Lackawanna City School District is serving as the lead educational agency for the grant, with Frontier, Hamburg and West Seneca schools also a part of the local consortium.

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