Nassau BOCES announces skill-based careers coalition
Dr. Robert Dillon announces expansion of career and technical training program
Nassau BOCES, which provides thousands of high school students and adults with Career and Technical Education (CTE) annually, announced a coalition to help individuals find long-term career solutions through CTE programs. The coalition’s mission is to raise awareness about the growing need of labor-based careers and the positive benefits of a trade background, including recession-ready careers. The push for more school districts and individuals to focus on encouraging students to pursue CTE programs comes as baby boomers age out of their jobs, leaving hundreds of well-paying job opportunities vacant.
“More than ever before, countless Long Island youth are underemployed with mountains of college debt, but there are hundreds of opportunities out there for our middle-skilled workers who have the right training,” said Dr. Robert Dillon, Superintendent of Schools for Nassau BOCES. “Through this coalition, our mission is to help individuals find a long-term career in something that resonates with them.”
The need for plumbers, electricians, medical technicians, and construction workers, among many others, are on the rise. Each of these careers have jobs waiting to be filled locally. In addition to there being a current need to fill positions, the need is growing with the prospective outlook for 2026 showing an increase in job openings in these positions.
To provide an immediate solution to the need of more occupational based workers, Dr. Dillon announced a new agreement for Nassau BOCES to operate the Gerald R. Claps Career & Technical Center in addition to the Joseph M. Barry Career & Technical Education Center in Westbury. The Gerald R. Claps Career & Technical Center, which is located in the Levittown Memorial Education Center, will be operated as a second CTE center, allowing Nassau BOCES to serve even more students in some of its most popular courses.
“The Levittown School District is proud to partner with Nassau BOCES in this endeavor,” said Dr. Tonie McDonald, Superintendent of Levittown School District. “Career and Technical Education is an important and critical learning experience that is often overlooked in our country today. We look forward to working with Nassau BOCES in the future to continue to provide excellent opportunities for our students to learn and grow.”
"This is great news for Levittown. Nassau BOCES offers an impressive range of courses that allow our young people to explore career options and gain valuable work experience,” said Nassau County Executive, Laura Curran. “I encourage all parents to consider the benefits of a technical education, which can help high school students thrive now and in the future. I thank Nassau BOCES for the important work they continue to do in communities across our County.”
The half-day high school program at Joseph M. Barry Career & Technical Education Center provides more than 40 hands-on courses designed to help students develop the skills they need to get a step ahead in their chosen career fields. More than 1,600 students from throughout Nassau County attend programs designed to simulate the real world, with classes that may be held in an airplane hangar, horse training stable, carpentry shop or even a video production studio. The courses focus on work applications in addition to structural, targeted instruction. Additionally, Nassau BOCES offers an adult CTE program in the evenings to hundreds of residents from Nassau County and beyond.
“We clearly are seeing a need for middle skills jobs—those are the jobs that require more than a high school diploma, yet less than a college degree,” said Cheryl Davidson, Senior Director of Workforce Readiness at Northwell Health. “There is a shortage of healthcare workers because we basically are in the perfect storm. The baby boomers are starting to retire, we have a low unemployment rate at 3 percent. You have young adults who cannot afford to live here and are leaving Long Island, and an increasing number of people over 65 who require more health care. So, it’s all coming together and really creating a challenge for us to find skilled workers.”