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New York State Awards Nassau BOCES-led Consortium with $2.5 Million Grant

students working with wires and gadgets

A Nassau BOCES-led consortium has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the New York State Department of Education that will prepare hundreds of Long Island students for high-skill jobs in demanding technology fields. The Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) grant will enable Nassau BOCES and the project’s financial lead, Uniondale Union Free School District, to move forward with a new cutting-edge educational partnership that will leverage public and private resources, including school districts, Western Suffolk BOCES, Farmingdale State College and aerospace manufacturer Arkwin Industries Inc.

Students from the participating school districts – Uniondale, Freeport and Wyandanch UFSDs – will be exposed to real-world skills through internships and mentoring with Arkwin and other high-tech industry leaders. In addition, the students will take courses in Farmingdale State College’s Mechanical Engineering program while still attending high school.

This initiative is part of a growing movement to increase the availability of high-quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. During the seven-year grant, 360 students are expected to participate in the Long Island P-TECH program.

“At Nassau BOCES, we strongly believe in strategic partnerships that help to create one common goal,” said Dr. Thomas Rogers, Nassau BOCES District Superintendent. “We develop relationships between school districts, collegiate and industry partners to make sure these types of important educational programs are available to Long Island’s students.”

The first year of the program will focus on student recruitment. This will include parental outreach, community forums, and opportunities for SUNY Farmingdale students to meet with eighth-grade students to talk about college.

“The educators and administration of Uniondale Union Free School District are particularly proud of their leading role in partnership with Nassau BOCES to bring the highest quality of hands-on STEM education and unprecedented employment resources and opportunities to our students,” stated Superintendent Dr. William K. Lloyd.

“Western Suffolk BOCES, like Nassau and BOCES statewide enjoy a long and productive history working with local businesses and colleges that provide real workplace internships in technical areas of study,” stated Western Suffolk BOCES Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Michael J. Mensch. “Our experience shows students who participate in hands-on instruction that produces a tangible result stay in school and are highly motivated. The P-Tech program is another example of this level of collaboration focused on preparing students for a future of school and work.”