by Charleen Beiter, Tech After Hours Adult Education Manager
As an adult education initiative of Erie’s Public Schools, Tech After Hours is an innovative program that seeks to expand the successful career training programs at Erie High School by making them accessible to out-of-school youth and adults. In this way, it serves as a de-facto community college by offering credit recovery, remediation, skill training and employment certification to prepare workers for real jobs in our local economy. The program also leverages the resources, success and experience of Erie’s high school CTE program and provides maximum usage of a community resource that was underutilized during evening, weekend and summer hours.
The success of Tech After Hours was immediately realized with the first graduating class receiving employment offers upon graduation. One student was offered full time employment with benefits by 3 companies. Other students received offers in construction, maintenance, welding and senior living centers.
Tech After Hours is currently working with employers in an effort to start the next Apprenticeship program and is always accepting students into the other programs. There will be an employer open house to promote the Machining Apprenticeship program and more on August 1st, 2018 at 10:00am. (RVSP at 814-874-6217)
By offering out-of-school youth and adult students viable paths back into the education and training system, Tech After Hours provides training and educational opportunities to dislocated workers and young adults and provides them with a clear path toward real jobs here in Erie County. At the same time, the program also provides regional employers with the skilled workforce they demand in order to keep their businesses functioning in our local economy.
Funded in large part by a grant from the Erie Community Foundation in 2015, Tech After Hours currently offers programs in Welding, Machining, Patient Care Assistant, Auto Mechanics and Construction Trades as well as GED/remediation support through a partnership with IU5. Tech After Hours also works closely with CareerLink in order to provide tuition assistance to students who qualify. In conjunction with local manufacturing employers, Tech After Hours offers an Oh-Penn Department of Labor approved Apprenticeship program for Machinists.
For more information on Tech After Hours, please go to www.eriesd.org/adulteducation or call 814-874-6217.