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PTECH students meet with business mentors

August 7, 2015 | Filed in HFM PTECH, HFM Top Stories
PTECH freshman Damieon Johnson of Gloversville talks with Michael Miller of GlobalFoundries of Malta.

PTECH freshman Damieon Johnson of Gloversville talks with Michael Miller of GlobalFoundries of Malta.

AUG. 7, 2015 – PTECH students had the opportunity to mingle and engage with their business mentors Wednesday, Aug. 5, at the Jansen Avenue School.

The event brought ninth- and 10th-graders of the HFM BOCES Pathways in Technology Early College High School and members of the business community together, allowing them to get to know each other a little better. Throughout students’ four to six years in the PTECH program, they will work with business mentors in various career fields.

Earlier in the day, the mentors completed an orientation training to outline the expectations and help guide them as they mentor the students.

The afternoon’s events included a “treasure hunt” in which the students were tasked with finding out more about the mentors and a panel discussion that allowed the students to ask the adults questions about their careers.

Ninth-grader Nadia Payah of Mayfield said she got a lot out of the time spent with the mentors. “I really enjoyed asking them questions about their backgrounds and what they like about their jobs because we’re trying to make those decisions,” she said.

PTECH freshman Anne Ballou of Johnstown shakes the hand of Dave Agee of AirJet Technologies

PTECH freshman Anne Ballou of Johnstown shakes the hand of Dave Agee of AirJet Technologies

Anne Boles of Community Health Center, who served on the panel, said she is excited to work with PTECH and share with the students the many health care-related jobs there are in the area. She said she thinks making connections between PTECH and area employers is important. “It’s an investment in our youth and an investment and in our businesses,” Boles said.

She encouraged others in the area to consider mentorship. “We all need to be educated about the opportunities kids have here,” she said. “Businesses are looking for skilled workers, and this is a way to keep our youth here in their home communities.”

The mentor event was part of PTECH’s three-week Summer Bridge program, July 20 through Aug. 7. The first two weeks of the program took place exclusively on the Fulton-Montgomery Community College campus, where students participated in. Students spent afternoons during the third week of the program t Jansen Avenue School in Johnstown focused on teamwork and culture building to prepare them for the start of school. The program culminated Friday with a commitment ceremony for the freshmen at the school.

The PTECH students will return to their classrooms to officially begin their academic year on Sept. 8.


The HFM Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or PTECH, is a new model for high school education that includes college-level, credit-bearing coursework in the curriculum and allows students to choose their own “pathways” to high-skill jobs.

A consortium of HFM BOCES, its component school districts, Fulton-Montgomery Community College and regional business partners was one of 16 winners in a statewide competition in 2013 for funding a PTECH program that targets students who might not otherwise consider a college pathway, using a variety of demographic, academic and social indicators. The new school launched at the Jansen Avenue School in Johnstown for the 2014-15 school year with 50 ninth-grade students from the component school districts. This year, 55 freshmen will begin their PTECH experience.

PTECH seeks to redefine secondary education with a curriculum that centers on project-based learning that focuses on skills in four career clusters — business management and administration, advanced manufacturing and clean technology, information and technology and health sciences. During their time at PTECH, each student will be mentored by a partner from a regional business.

Through the program, selected students can earn one of 10 different associate’s degrees at no cost to their families and will be considered for jobs with participating companies when they graduate.

For more information about becoming a business partner or mentor at PTECH, please contact Business and Education Partnership Coordinator Nicole Walrath at 725-0641 or