By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — There’s a lot to learn when it comes to finding that perfect career choice and Pinkerton Academy students are getting started while still in high school.
For students hoping to find a top job in the manufacturing field, Pinkerton now offers a class aimed at helping them do just that by teaching skills they will need to succeed.
“We looked at how the economy is changing and what programs we should have in place,” said Doug Cullen, Pinkerton’s Career and Technical Education career coordinator.
Cullen said the state and its community college system are aggressively driving a successful manufacturing curriculum at the high school level to prepare students for those jobs.
The school’s new manufacturing course, Manufacturing I, helps develop general and specific skills geared toward those future positions in the workforce.
“The industry was saying it, community colleges were saying that we should have something like this in place,” Cullen said.
He said there is federal and state money helping support these programs.
Pinkerton Academy recently unveiled its new and improved Career and Technical Education facilities for the first day of school this year. Two new buildings were constructed and programs were expanded, thanks to millions of dollars in state funding to help update the state’s career and technical centers at high schools around the state.
Pinkerton has one of the largest programs in place, offering programs in engineering, animal science, welding, finance, computer technology, health-related fields and construction trades.
Cullen said there is a strong future in manufacturing, with added emphasis on computer technology and how that plays a role in the field.
Putting manufacturing studies into place at Pinkerton just adds to what the school offers to help students succeed in various trades and jobs once they leave high school.
That also puts them on a faster track to secondary education at community colleges or four-year programs.
“The word of the day is ‘preparedness,’” Cullen said.
CTE instructor Steve Sackmann said his students are enjoying the program. He said students also took field trips to various manufacturing companies to see how their studies can be put to use in the future.
“They are so excited,” Sackmann said. “We are trying to make things relevant.”