Monday, April 3, 2017

Creating a Labor Pipeline for Business with an Eye on Growth

Creating a Labor Pipeline for Business with an Eye on Growth 

I had the pleasure recently of being part of group of vocational education leaders making a pitch for increased funding avenues during a meeting with Governor Charlie Baker.
The Governor followed up a tour of the South Coast by meeting with several vocational technical superintendents on the campus of the Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech.
The national shortage of trained technical employees was a topic for discussion. Massachusetts is definitely feeling the pinch of the lack quality candidates for employment. Numerous employers that I’ve spoken with have expressed the primary limiting factor in growing their business is a shortage of qualified employees.
The Governor echoed those sentiments in his speech and said he would look to continue the Skills Capital Grants program administered by his office as well as other avenues to expand access to technical education and fill the void that exists in the skilled labor pipeline.
An interesting point made by the Governor was the potential for students attending tech schools to earn Associates Degrees through continuation of their technical program in their local technical school.
While the challenge to fulfill the needs of workforce development are significant, I came away encouraged by the meeting. Governor Baker was listening and has identified economic development and expansion of access to vocational education as a goal. The Governor understands that vocational schools can be a viable engine for the state’s economic growth. I look forward to Upper Cape Tech’s role in working with the Governor’s administration and the Workforce Cabinet to address the goal of expanded access and workforce development.

Friday, March 31, 2017

UCT Graduate Spotlight

Q&A with Kevin Farr, Jr.

What did you study at UCT? What were your days like? 
I studied in the engineering technology program. Depending on the week it was either an academic or shop week. During my shop days we would have selected labs. These were mainly electrical engineering-based, and set up by the teachers Tim Smith and Tim Oliveira. The labs revolved around a curriculum they set up to teach us basic engineering skills that set us up for projects like the rocket project the quitter project. 

What did you study at WPI?
I continued in my studies and I just completed my degree in electrical and computer engineering. 

Where are you working now? 
I’m working right now at the MITRE Corporation in Bedford, MA. 

How did your education at UCT help prepare you for your career? 
I believe UCT helped prepare me because it gave me a lot of hands on experience that I believe gave me an upper hand at WPI. Rather than focusing on learning a certain technical aspect, like coding, I was able to focus on the finer details of becoming a good engineer. It helped me build upon my skills such that I became a more valuable engineer when it came to looking for jobs. 

How long did it take you to find a job? 
So I didn’t take a traditional route to finding a job. There’s something at WPI called a Senior Capstone Project where you work with a faculty member on the project and continue taking classes. I built a close relationship with one of my professors and he offered me the opportunity to work and do my project at MITRE during the summer. So I was able to, number one, make money as an intern and, number two, to finish my project before the academic year even started. I did it in two terms rather than the four terms it usually takes. Then at the end of my project I was offered an extension onto my internship with the opportunity of getting a job. In December MITRE offered me a job and I began working with them in February. 

Would you recommend UCT to other students wanting to go into your line of work? 
Definitely. I think at UCT you can decide then whether or not engineering is right for you. There are opportunities to get onto various afterschool activities. For example, I used my underwater robotics project both for the state science fair and in application to WPI. If you want to have the tools and the resources to become an engineer, UCT is a great option, and they have those resources. If you work hard enough you can go to places like WPI. 

What are some of your best memories of UCT?
My best memories are I guess my senior year when I got to complete my senior project and did dual enrollment at the community college. So I got to live a college-esque life while also getting to focus on a senior project that I was personally been pretty passionate about. 

What was your Senior Project at UCT?
I made a semi-autonomous landmine detection/removal robot. 

Did UCT prepare you for college? 
I definitely think it prepared me for college. The teachers that I had and the way that they taught was in a way that they wouldn’t accept certain materials unless they were perfect. 
For instance, they wouldn't accept certain excel files unless they were formatted correctly. It showed you how you should be organized, present yourself and present your materials. It really showed off well when I did reach WPI and helped me with my homework in college. 

Have you ever regretted going to a vocational school? 
No. I had the option obviously to go to a regular high school but I think this was way more useful. I don’t know even if I would have gone into the engineering field if I’d gone to a regular high school, but going to Upper Cape Tech really helped steer me toward going into engineering.

Who should attend a vocational school like UCT? 

Vocational high schools are for people who want to enter the workforce with skills. They generally want to be ready regardless of whether they want to go to college or straight to work. Even if you go into carpentry and don’t decide to continue, but say decide you want to be a teacher, you still have underlying skills and takeaways that people can get from this experience that translates into other fields. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

UCT Shines at FFA Convention

Gold Medal Chapter Exhibit
Dimitri Bautista, Samantha Chalmers, Hunter Gonsalves and Will Maginnis
First Place Team - Nursery Landscape

Each year qualified students in Upper Cape Regional Technical High School’s Horticulture & Landscape Contracting program attend the Massachusetts FFA Convention & Expo in Sturbridge, MA.

FFA once stood for the “Future Farmers of America” but now includes much more than farmers -- it includes individuals pursuing careers related to all aspects of agriculture including biology, chemistry and engineering.

At the convention, members from all over the state meet together, listen to keynote speakers, compete and take workshops, as well as celebrate accomplishments and win awards for their hard work.

This year the following students won awards, scholarships and recognition:

Nursery Landscape
Dimitri Bautista, Samantha Chalmers, Hunter Gonsalves and Will Maginnis First Place Team
Dimitri Bautista, 1st place individual
Hunter Gonsalves, 3rd place individual.

Ag Sales
Camryn Sanborn, Alandre Miranda, Fiona McAfee,and Austin Marshall, Third Place Team,
Austin Marshall 1st place individual

Turf Management
Sarah Perry, Samantha Chalmers, Anthony DiPasquale, Valentino Petrone, Third Place Team

Chapter Exhibit
Presented by: Cory Sullivan and Miles Campinha, First Place

Agriscience Fair
Will Maginnis,  Second Place

Emil Jaeske Memorial Scholarship
Mike Fitzpatrick

Baystate Degree Recipients
Dimitri Bautista, Miles Campinha, Cameron Kidling, Fiona McAfee, Alandre Miranda, Camryn Sanborn and Cory Sullivan

Congratulations to all the participants and FFA!

Friday, March 24, 2017

UCT students to compete at State SkillsUSA Championships

UCT students competed in the Massachusetts district SkillsUSA Championships this month. Each year, career and technical education students across the nation compete from the local to national level, showcasing the excellent vocational skills they are gaining in their areas of study.

Last year more than 2,000 students competed in Massachusetts alone. UCT students who earned medals at districts are listed below. Those who earned Gold or Silver automatically move on to compete at the State Competition in April. Also, three students who placed 4th through 6th will compete at the state level as well.

State Officer Candidate - Olivia Macfarlane

Gold Medalists:
Emily Longval - Basic Health Care
Tyler Sprague - Cabinetmaking
Timothy Fitzgerald - Collision Repair Tech
Olivia Almedia - Cosmetology Under 500
James Hightower - Team Works
Morgan Curran - Team Works
Nick Hebb - Team Works
Trevor Wilson - Team Works

Silver Medalists:
Maxwell Young - Additive Manufacturing (Team)
Kieran Donovan - Additive Manufacturing (Team)
Brian Miller - Automotive Refinishing Technology
Portia McDonald - Basic Health Care
Calvin Sylvia - Cabinetmaking
William Paling - Carpentry
Megan Groves - Customer Service
Joe Gallion - Diesel Equip Tech
Caitlyn McGhee - First Aid & CPR
Matt Bridge - Information Technology Service
Lana Nguyen - Marine Service Tech
Liam Orman - Urban Search and Rescue (Team)
Andrew Pierce - Urban Search and Rescue (Team)

Bronze Medalists:
Kelsey Ireland - Architectural Drafting
Myles Swiatek - Automotive Refinishing Technology
Nicholas Stewart - Basic Health Care
Kenneth Stuart - Collision Repair Tech
Christian Meier - Information Technology Service
James Stapel - Marine Service Tech
Chade' Vanlier - Medical Math
Jordan Vermilya - Nail Care
Malcolm Fitzpatrick - Plumbing
Riley Nee - Restaurant Service

4th place
Michael Poulin - Power Equipment tech

5th place
Jade Monte - Marine Service Technology

6th place
Geoffrey Swenson - Marine Service Tech

Congratulations to these amazing UCT students! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Regional Science Fair

UCT Students take 2nd and 3rd in Regional Science Fair

Bradley Marcosa and Bailey Nance took second place at the recent South Shore Regional Science Fair. Jillian Taylor took third. All three will now move on to the state competitions.

Marcosa and Nance submitted a project on the effect of different food sources on the nutritional value of black soldier fly larvae. Taylor’s project focused on the growth of plants in a hydroponics system. Great work!

This science fair has offered students the chance to develop and present scientific research projects for the past 58 years, and UCT’s students are continuing in that legacy in 2017. All 9-12 grade students in southeastern Massachusetts, as well as those in Boston’s private and parochial schools were welcome to compete in the fair.

Congratulations to these three students! 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Support UCT on Valentine's Day

Headed to to do some Valentine's Day shopping? 

We'd love it if you'd shop at to benefit Alumni and Friends of Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School Inc. How does it work? All you have to do is get to Amazon through our link, and .05% of your purchase price will come to UCT at no cost to you. 

Amazon has something for everyone on your list: electronics, jewelry, clothing and more! 

Thank you for your support! 

Friday, January 6, 2017

UCT Responds To Industry Need with New HVAC Program

A new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) program will train students for careers in that high demand career. Tech school superintendent Robert A. Dutch said it is a course of study that the school has not offered to date. Dr. Dutch said the new HVAC program is in answer to requests he has received from within the industry for trained workers. Many HVAC contractors have indicated there is more work than they can perform. The only thing keeping them from growing their business is a trained workforce in HVAC.

Dr. Dutch said that he has also been approached by David A. Augustinho, Executive Director of the Cape & Islands Workforce Investment Board. Mr. Augustinho spoke of feedback he has received from the HVAC community about the need for training people for careers in HVAC, and a program at the school would help satisfy that need. He added that an Upper Cape Tech program would also be beneficial to either train or retrain adults for the HVAC industry, Dr. Dutch said.

Incoming freshman next fall will have the opportunity to explore the HVAC program and choose it as their career in January of 2018. The first graduating class of HVAC technicians would be in 2021. To provide a quicker solution to the dearth of HVAC technicians, UCT’s Adult and Continuing Education program in collaboration with the Cape and Islands Workforce Investment Board, will offer adult programs preparing HVAC technicians as apprentices and ultimately becoming licensed HVAC technicians.

We are welcoming anyone interested in serving on the HVAC Program Advisory to contact the school. Also, financial support for the construction of the facility and equipment is welcomed. Naming rights for the building are also still available. 

For further information regarding the program and ways to support UCT and this new program please contact: 

Superintendent Robert Dutch
Upper Cape Cod Technical High School
220 Sandwich Road
Bourne, MA 02532