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Pathway Focus of the Month: Engineering

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Potential Career: Architectural/Structural Engineer (Drafters)

(Primary information sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and BCC Catalog)

Drafters prepare technical drawings and plans, which are used by production and construction workers to build everything from microchips to skyscrapers. Drawings include technical details and specify dimensions, materials, and procedures, and are usually prepared using Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) systems. Drafters fill in technical details using drawings, rough sketches, specifications, and calculations made by engineers, surveyors, architects, or scientists. Drafting work has many specialties; the most common types of drafters are the following: aeronautical drafters, architectural drafters, civil drafters, electrical drafters, electronics drafters, mechanical drafters, and process piping or pipeline drafters. Architectural drafters draw architectural and structural features of buildings for new construction projects. These workers may specialize in a type of building, such as residential or commercial, or in a kind of material used, such as reinforced concrete, masonry, steel, or timber.

Employers are most interested in applicants with well-developed drafting and mechanical drawing skills; knowledge of drafting standards, mathematics, science, and engineering technology; and a solid background in CADD techniques. Many employers pay for continuing education; with appropriate college degrees, drafters may go on to become engineering technicians, engineers, or architects.

Job Outlook: The employment outlook is glum at the moment. As architects and engineers become more familiar with CAD programs, less work will be given to drafters. In addition, the sectors employing drafters are still trying to recover from a downward spiral. However, by the time CVTE students graduate with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree, the employment outlook should drastically increase in Massachusetts’s manufacturing sector. Manufacturing still remains the largest employer in MA, and ISM data show manufacturing expanding "at the fastest pace in more than three years, capping a late-2009 global factory rebound that helped pull the world out of the worst slump since the 1930s." (Bloomberg News, 1/5, Willis) The current Federal focus on infrastructure and grant incentives for green jobs will help stimulate jobs for drafters in the construction and design sectors.

For More Information: For starters, there’s the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA); their website is not very youth-friendly but does have some information on careers and an annual poster design competition. Other industry associations include: Association for Computer Aided Design in Architecture, Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures, and education and research in computer aided architectural in europe (sic). Illinois has a Drafting Educator’s Association (IDEA) with some useful links. Honestly, the most useful site for students is the Massachusetts Career Information System.

About BCC's Programming: The Structural Technology program prepares students as technicians for engineering consulting firms, construction companies, architect, government agencies, structural materials testing and structural manufacturing companies. Graduates work as home building contractors, design construction technicians, structural computer-aided designers, and industrial and commercial building fabricators. This program is challenging so limit outside responsibilities.

Hint for Success: Competition for these jobs will be fierce, so prepare early! High school courses in mathematics, science, computer technology, design, and computer graphics are essential. Once in college, take technical physics, English and computer courses early as later courses require these skills; complete the college math course sequence as soon as possible. Any “green-related” training (green building construction, weatherization, retrofitting, energy efficiencies, natural resource conservation) will increase the chances of finding a job.


Headlines

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Headlines

Massachusetts submits an application for “Race to the Top” funding. After soliciting input from educators and stakeholders from across the state, the DESE submitted a finished application for the Federal “Race to the Top” funds by the January 19th, 2010, deadline. In the Executive Summary, the DESE outlines four priority goals that would drive all funded activities:

  1. Developing and retaining an effective, academically capable, diverse, and culturally competent educator workforce;
  2. Providing curricular and instructional resources that support teacher effectiveness and success for all students;
  3. Concentrating great instruction and supports for educators, students, and families in our lowest performing schools; and
  4. Increasing our focus on college and career readiness for all students.

If funded, these posted documents will give school districts a better idea of how to position themselves to benefit from this new funding stream, as well as alert districts to potential reform measures coming down the pipeline. To read the entire state application, as well as the Executive Summary, go to the DESE’s ARRA website.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases 2010-11 Editions of the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Career Guide to Industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced the release of the 2010-11 editions of the Occupational Outlook Handbook and the Career Guide to Industries. The two publications profile hundreds of occupations and dozens of industries, respectively. Both publications also provide comprehensive, up-to-date, and reliable labor market information that has helped millions of people plan their future work lives. In addition, this information has proven invaluable to counselors, students, jobseekers, career changers, education and training officials, and researchers.

ACM/WGBH Project New Image for Computing: Dot Diva! The “New Image for Computing” (NIC) began as an initiative to improve the image of computer science among college-bound high school girls, with a special emphasis on changing the perceptions of African American boys and Latina girls, two of the most underrepresented groups in the field. The nationwide survey of college-bound teens revealed a surprising result: there was in fact no significant difference in the perception of computing along racial or ethnic lines. But, there was a striking difference according to gender: just 10% of college-bound girls had a “very good” opinion of computing compared to 45% of boys. As a result, the project leaders determined that to have the greatest impact possible on teens’ image of computing, NIC should shift its focus from specific racial and ethnic groups and direct its efforts toward girls. What’s the problem with girls and computing? The survey uncovered three characteristic about careers that girls considered most important: “being passionate” about their jobs, “doing work [they] find interesting,” and having “the power to do good.” According to the hundreds of girls surveyed, computing is unlikely to fulfill these aspirations. The girls describe computing with words like “boring” and “hard,” but they believed it fails to deliver the two crucial benefits: “working with others” and “making a difference in other people’s lives.” Check out the full news article for more information.


Professional Development Opportunities

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Professional Opportunities

Amgen Invites Applications for its Annual Award for Science Teaching Excellence. Amgen is accepting applications for its Annual Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence. The Award is designed to recognize and honor extraordinary science teachers at the K-12 level who significantly impact their students through exemplary science teaching and who achieve demonstrated results in student learning in communities where Amgen operates. Thirty-four teachers in states where Amgen has operating sites: California, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Washington, and Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec) will receive an unrestricted cash award of $5,000 and a restricted $5,000 cash grant to the recipient's school for the expansion or enhancement of a school science program, science resources, or the professional development of the school's science teachers. Deadline: February 5, 2010.

Regional Meetings to Discuss Equity in Career/Vocational Technical Education. The Office for Career/Vocational Technical Education's Equity Team will be conducting four regional meetings to discuss the possible creation of regional networking groups focusing on equity in career/vocational technical education. In response to districts' and individuals' desire to share strategies and effective practices, these meetings will be an opportunity for networking and discussing the potential formation of regional networking groups. The meetings will be held at four different locations across the state to accommodate participants. The dates and locations of the two closest meetings are:

Sign-in for all meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end by 11:30 a.m. Districts are encouraged to send one or two adult representatives and may also send two students to this initial planning meeting. While equity activities have often focused on students in programs nontraditional for their gender, equal access is a broader issue, with the goal of fostering a supportive school climate and culture that is welcoming of all, including students for whom English is not their first language, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, students of various races and cultures, etc. Visit the website for additional information regarding the Equity Team's state-wide initiative.

Getting Started with Service-Learning (for those new to service-learning), Tuesday, February 23, 2010 Hoagland-Pincus Conference Center, Shrewsbury, 8:00-4:00. This 1-day workshop is designed to help educators and community members learn about the KIDS model of service-learning. You will come away with tools, resources, strategies and enthusiasm to begin a KIDS service-learning project in your school and community! You'll receive KIDS' well-known KIDS As Planners Guidebook (valued at $29.95), useful tools and resources, contact hours certificate, light breakfast and lunch! In addition, participants will have the opportunity to hear a lunch-time keynote address on service-learning and literacy by Cathryn Berger Kaye, national service-learning consultant and author of The Complete Guide to Service Learning. Go to the DESE Conference website for more information.


Student Opportunities

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Student Opportunities

Miley Cyrus and Youth Service America Launch Global Grants Program for Young Volunteers. Miley Cyrus and Youth Service America are offering $500 Get Ur Good On Grants to youth ages 5 to 25. The grants will be awarded to a hundred youth to support youth-led projects that address critical community issues such as poverty, education, and environmental sustainability. Visit the website to obtain additional information and an application. Deadline: February 22, 2010.

New England Aquarium Teen Ocean Summit, March 31, 2010: The Teen Ocean Summit is a one-day opportunity for local high school students to creatively address the challenges surrounding marine environmental issues. The Summit was started in 2002 to engage students in a real world ocean conservation scenario. This Spring Summit will be hosted by National Grid at their headquarters in Waltham, MA. How does a class get selected for this exclusive event? Teachers are invited to submit an application to attend. Six schools are selected and each may bring up to 10 students. Priority is given to applicants: if the class has not previously attended, if the school is an inner city school, and if the class is among the first to express interest. To request an application or to address any questions, contact Vickie Cataldo at 617-973-0235. Join the Mailing List!

BCC ‘s 3rd Annual SkillsUSA Cake Show Fundraiser, Saturday, April 10, 2010, 10 AM-3PM, 777 Elsbree Street, Fall River, MA 02720. The cake competition is open to youth, high school students, college students, novice and professional decorators. Classes will be given through the day, in addition to demonstrations, vendors, a cake show, food and bake sale, and raffle baskets. Competition registration fee and Event Fee is $10.00 per person. For more information please contact Chef Gloria M. Cabral at 508-678-2811 x2940.


Resources of the Month

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Resources of the Month

GRANT: The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation is Accepting Applications for Student Achievement Grants. The NEA Foundation is accepting applications from individuals or groups of educational professionals for its Student Achievement Grants. These grants are designed to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools and public higher education institutions in any subject area(s). Grant requests must total $5,000. Deadline: February 1, 2010.

GRANT: The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation is Accepting Applications for Learning and Leadership Grants. The NEA Foundation is accepting applications from individuals or groups of educational professionals for its Learning and Leadership Grants. These grants are designed to provide opportunities for teachers and education support professionals at U.S. public higher education institutions. Funds are provided to engage educational professionals in high-quality professional development. Award amounts are $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study. Deadline: February 1, 2010.

WEBSITE: Who Do You Want 2B. An initiative from California’s Community Colleges, this youth-friendly website provides all of the preliminary information a freshman could want when picking out a CTE or VTE program. The site includes a simple quiz (which reads like it was written by a cheeky 16 year-old), job descriptions, various career pathways and the almighty average salaries. If you delve further into the website, you’ll find free downloads and posters are also available. A must for all Exploratory programs!

WEBSITE: National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth. For those in Guidance who struggle to provide support services to students in need, this is an incredible resource! The Clearinghouse includes resources to cover issues outside of education that can severely impact a student, such as homelessness, addiction, domestic violence, and mentoring. The site includes a host of free publications.


Articulation Update

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Articulation Update

Regional Articulations are a Reality. The final touches have been made on BCC’s first Regional Articulation Agreement. This agreement for secondary schools with Chapter 74-approved VTE programs in Office Technologies will be automatically sent out to those district Superintendents for signatures. If your school is listed in the DESE Chapter 74 Program Directory under “Office Technologies,” please contact your administration to let them know about this exciting development. After Office Technologies, the Regional Articulation Agreements for Culinary Arts and Environmental Technology will be formalized. Two other BCC Departments are exploring the possibility of Regional Articulations, Engineering and Computer Information Systems. We will keep you updated on the progress!