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MVHS career and technical education students learn about apprenticeships

Several apprenticeship programs were hosted by Mount Vernon High School to share the benefits of their trades on Friday, November 18, 2022. The career and technical education students participated in National Apprenticeship Week and learned more about their options in the cafeteria where the local unions and other blue-collar workers were set up.  

“The good thing about our apprenticeship, is that you can get paid to learn,” said David Ryan of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 137.  

These apprenticeships give students the opportunity to work and prepare for a job with a pension, full benefits and savings plans. Many of the programs also pay for school for apprentices so that they can move up in their careers or take their skills elsewhere. 

Helmets at Apprenticeship week

“Our apprenticeship is a four-year program, and our apprentices go to school once a week while they work,” said Thomas LeCount, a member of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 91. “It’s ideal for someone that’s either just finished college and is having a hard time finding something in their field or for someone that decided that college is not for them. A lot of people like to work with their hands, and you can still make a good living working with your hands. Our apprentices have good starting pay with full benefits, and it’s a good start-up career.” 

Students in the career and technical education program are taking advantage of the opportunities that many people today don’t think about as much. Following the tech boom, many people moved to the technology sector, and jobs in the trades are becoming available at a much faster rate than other careers. 

“They help us with our job placement. They help us with learning new skills and trades like our auto shop, which I partake in,” said Kenneth Mack, a 12th grade-student at Mount Vernon High School. “It’s really the best opportunity to learn so much. We have computer science, auto, barbering. You have an opportunity to learn a lot.” 

The groups in attendance were the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 91, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 137, the Laborer’s International Union of North America Local 60, the Sheet Metal Workers International Association, the New York State Department of Labor, and Local 137 Operating Engineers.  

CTE directors

“This is our third National Apprenticeship Week event. We’re doing this because we want to make more students aware of the trades and the apprenticeship programs and the benefits of it as far as earning while they’re learning,” said Jaime Larmon, the work-based learning coordinator at Mount Vernon High School. “College is getting paid for as they’re doing the apprenticeship, and they’re getting more experience in one of the best ways – on-the-job learning.” 

The National Apprenticeship Week event allowed the students to have conversations with people from all types of trades. Based on the interest, the career and technical education department will set up one-on-one sessions with the unions, and students will be able to make an educated decision on the path they want to take.

National Apprenticeship week flyer