New Horizons Regional Education Centers Names Executive Director

New Horizons Regional Education Centers Names Executive Director

During their regular meeting on May 22, 2018, the Board of Trustees of the New Horizons Regional Education Centers (NHREC) appointed Mr. Casey Roberts as the NHREC Executive Director. He will assume his duties July 1, 2018.

Having served our greater Hampton Roads educational community for the last 12 years, “The New Horizons Board is really excited to start working with Mr. Roberts. He is the right person to build on our successful relationships with local businesses to make sure our students have the technical skills and soft skills to be successful in today’s workplace,” said
Shelly Simonds, chair of the NHREC Board of Trustees.

As the current principal of Smithfield High School with the Isle of Wight County Public Schools, Mr. Roberts oversees the teaching and learning of over 1,200 students, grades nine through twelve. During his five-year tenure, he brokered a $3 million donation from Smithfield Foods to fund the development of new Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming, known as the Smithfield Foods Legacy Project. Through this donation the
school division has been able to expedite the development of programs such as welding, culinary arts, manufacturing, engineering and nursing. In addition to supervising the CTE program, Mr. Roberts implemented two major innovative initiatives: deeper learning instructional model and project based learning. Both of these initiatives have resulted in increased organizational capacity, significant professional development for teachers, and greater achievement among their students.

Mr. Roberts is a graduate of Hampton City Schools (HCS) and began his career in education as a high school social studies teacher at Kecoughtan High School (HCS). During his five years of teaching he served as a classroom management coach, professional development facilitator, state curriculum developer/assessment reviewer, and a research assistant with
the James Comer School Development Program at Yale University. In 2011, Mr. Roberts furthered his career with Virginia Beach City Public Schools as an instructional specialist and coordinator of secondary social studies education. After two years, he joined Isle of Wight County Schools as an assistant principal at Smithfield High School before being promoted to principal. In 2015, he was honored as the Instructional Leader of the Year for Isle of Wight County Schools.

Mr. Roberts’ vast experiences in the areas of education also include director positions for three boards – School Reform Initiative, Alumni Board of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets and Hampton Roads Committee of 200+ Men. In addition, he has presented at national, state and university conferences and is affiliated with many professional associations.

Mr. Roberts completed his undergraduate studies in history and leadership studies at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, Virginia) and earned a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in teacher leadership from Regent University (Virginia Beach, Virginia). He holds an education specialist degree in educational leadership and administration and is currently completing his doctorate in
educational administration and policy studies from The George Washington University (Washington, D.C.). Additionally, Mr. Roberts has completed graduate level coursework at the Principal Institute at Harvard University, Old Dominion University, University of Virginia, The Center of School Transformation, and the SURN Principal Academy (The College
of William and Mary).

“We are looking forward to Mr. Roberts joining the New Horizons team,” said Superintendent of Hampton City Schools Dr. Jeffery Smith, who currently serves as the superintendent of record for NHREC. “His wealth of knowledge and strong experience at the secondary level will further enhance the educational programs and services that support our young people at New Horizons.”

As the Executive Director, Mr. Roberts will provide leadership, supervision, and strategic development for the regional program of the six participating Peninsula school divisions (Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg/JCC and York). He will lead the vision, implementation and coordination of the programs to include; Career and Technical Education Center, Governor’s School for Science and Technology, Center for Autism, Newport Academy, Center for Apprenticeship and Adult Training, Youth Workforce Center, and Family Counseling Center.

Mr. Roberts will join a team that is highly focused on effectively fulfilling the mission of New Horizons Regional Education Centers – to prepare students educationally, technically, and socially, according to each student’s needs, to become productive citizens.

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Community Spotlight

New Horizons Butler Farm administration, staff, and students participated in the Habitat 4 Humanity Hampton Home Repair Blitz on Saturday, May 5th.

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Press Release: ATC Academy “Signing Day”

Press Release: May 1 “Signing Day” 

Click on link: Channel 13 News Coverage
Click on link: NHREC Facebook Page for more coverage
Click on link: Newport News Shipbuilding partnership with the ATC Academy “Good Life Solution”

 

May 1, 2018

36 New Horizons Career and Technical Education High School Seniors, enrolled in the automotive, construction and manufacturing programs, announce their 1st Job Picks at the May 1 “Signing Day” at the NHREC Butler Farm Campus.

9 Local Employers begin to load their long-term Talent Acquisition and Retention Pipelines with amazing young people from the New Horizons Advance Technical Careers (ATC) Academy to help meet their business goals for the long run.  “These incredible Employers agreed to join the ATC “The Good Life Solution – Transition to Employment program in the fall of 2017 on the principle that they owned the hiring decision.  With their desire to recruit and hire the best young talent they could find, these companies now believe the Advanced Technical Careers Academy (Automotive, Construction and Manufacturing) is one of their best sources for Talent”, says Joe Johnson the NHREC Executive Director.

According to Joe Barto, President of TMG, the Good Life Solution Program Manager, “My company has been working with employers across the country to improve their Team’s Business Performance.  The most successful companies are those who do not fall victim to the ‘you just cannot find good people these days’ but recognize they have to do something different to attract and retain the right talent.  The employers who accept they “own” this critical challenge are winning and winning BIG. This is not the end but the beginning for these employers who know it is not how many they hire but how many they keep as engaged productive employees for many years to come.”

“We want talent for life at Newport News Shipbuilding and the New Horizons program is a great way to help us meet this goal.” said Matt Needy, VP of Operations at Newport News Shipbuilding. “These new shipbuilders will contribute to our amazing mission of building great Navy ships while becoming productive members of our community.”

The NHREC Business Council for the Advanced Technical Careers (ATC) Academy (Automotive, Construction and Manufacturing) invites you to the first annual “SIGNING DAY”.  ATC “The Good Life Solution” is a Business Driven Academy with a focus on Employer Talent Acquisition and Retention.

We are pleased to announce that 36 NHREC CTE high school seniors in these training programs have been made at least one employment offer.  On May 1, students along with their parents will announce their decision of employment.  It is NHREC’s and the ATC Business Council belief that this initial career announcement and signing is as important, if not more so, than any sports scholarship signing in terms of life long impact to the individual and the Peninsula workforce.

NHREC and the ATC Business Council is about changing the image and stereotype of a career in the technical trades.  Many of our Completers will go onto post-secondary training in their trade prior to entering the workforce; however, on this day employers will hire those young adults ready to transition into employment with skills and desire to work.

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Community Spotlight

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Medical Assistant students participating in the Tucker Capps Elementary School Career Day Event.

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SkillsUSA State Competition Results


Congratulations to the following students who competed and placed in the SkillsUSA State Competition:
Welding – Michael Reed (Gold)
Firefighter Training – Xavier Marshall (Silver)
Auto Service Technology – Andrew Jamerson (Bronze)
Cosmetology Technical – Dnean Allen (Silver); Anaizia Davis (Silver); Anayah Branham-McMillian (Bronze)
Nails – Ansha Faziyeva (Bronze) Model – Tya Carter
SkillsUSA Chapter of Distinction Award – (Silver)

Congratulations to all students who participated!

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Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Conference

Congratulations to the following students who placed during the FCCLA State Conference

Destiny Rebman, Phoebus: Sports Nutrition- Gold medal 1st place, trophy. $2,000.00 Scholarship Johnson and Wales, $1,000.00 Scholarship Culinary Institute of Virginia. Advance to Nationals
William Gathers, Heritage:Illustrates Talk-Gold medal 1st place trophy. Advance to Nationals
Breann Adair, Warwick:Teach and Train-Silver medal
Tressa Meier, Home Schooled:Chapter Service Project Portfolio-silver medal
Jessica-Marcelle Rone, Tabb:Life Event Planning-Silver medal

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Family, Career and Community Leaders of America State Conference

At the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) State Conference, Mrs. Penny Cooke, New Horizons (FCCLA) Adviser and Early Childhood Education teacher was selected as the Most Spirited (FCCLA) Adviser Award recipient . Kuddos to her, and her 17 years of (FCCLA) advisership as well as her dedication to her students.

 

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First Robotics Competition Team 122 competes at the University of Maryland

The FRC Team 122 competed at the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship from March 28-31 at the University of Maryland. The highlight was seeing the robot place a cube on the scale during the automatous mode. Nice work to our programmers! The team was excited to be selected by the 2nd seeded alliance as one of their alliance partners. The team made it to the quarterfinal round and finished a great season with a placement of 27th out of 126 teams in the region. Congratulations to all Team 122 members!

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FIRST Chesapeake District Hampton Roads Event

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC)Team 122: Congratulations to the New Horizons FRC Team 122 for competing at Churchland High School in Portsmouth, VA at the FIRST Chesapeake District Hampton Roads Event. The 4th seeded alliance selected Team 122 as their 1st alliance partner. The team went on to win in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals.

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The Information Technology Services Challenge

The Information Technology Services Challenge was held on March 14th. Students had to perform a variety of repairs to desktops and laptops, and also make a repair to a patch cable. The contest winner was Amari Hargrave, from the AM Computer Systems Technology class.  He will be representing our region at the state challenge in Virginia Beach.

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NHREC Annual Blood Drive

Thanks to the students, staff and faculty of New Horizons.  We collected 62 pints of blood exceeding our goal of 57 pints.  Great job Ms. Whitehead and her Medical Assistant students.

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Skills USA Leadership Contest

Congratulations to the following NHREC students who placed during the Skills USA Leadership Contest hosted by NHREC Butler Farm Campus:

Medical Terminology: Kristine Good – Michelle Duesberry-Wood & Lilian Indovina – Kathy Whitehead, Criminal Justice: Ryan Schecke & Makaila Underwood – Jeff Davis, Spelling: Anazia Davis, Cinthia Vargas, Deja Smith – Tanya Rogers, Customer Service: Deja Smith – Tanya Rogers, Job Demo: Diana Fazliyea- Tanya Rogers Job Interview: Kayla Wilkins- Tanya Rogers

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New Horizons Contributions to the Poquoson Learning Garden

Mr. Schaffer,

I have had the good fortune to work with Tim Extine and his students for the last five years and the projects produced by the students have made a tremendous contribution to our two learning gardens as well as in the schoolyard habitat gardens at the elementary and high schools in York County and Poquoson.

The relationship we have developed with the Woodworking and Construction class at the New Horizons Career and Technical Education Center in Newport News is more than just a client looking to have a project built. The relationship is a true partnership. Many beyond the Master Gardeners have benefited from Tim and his students as news of the various projects got out many individuals came to New Horizons and requested similar projects.

Respectively,

Noel Talcott
York/Poquoson Master Gardener

Poquoson Learning Garden Overview for New Horizons – February 2018

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District SkillsUSA competition

Congratulations to the following Butler Farm students for place finishing at the District SkillsUSA competition:
3rd Place – Jo’Niya Alston – Cosmetology
2nd Place – Ti’era Lofton – Cosmetology
3rd Place – Cinthia Vargas – Nails
1st Place – Diane Fazliyeva – Nails
2nd Place – Mekiya Flores – Nails
3rd Place – Shameka Santiful – Esthetics
2nd Place – Semoni Clay – Barbering

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SkillsUSA Competition


On Thursday, February 15, 2018 our 2nd Year New Horizons Welding Students from the Butler Farm and Woodside Lane Campuses competed in the SkillsUSA Welding Competition. We are very proud of the following students that competed and placed during the competition:

1st  Michael Reed – BF

2nd  Collin Batchelor – WL

3rd   Chandler Fowler – WL

4th   Kyle Freeman – BF

5th   Maxwell Soistmann – WL  —- Max tied for 5th with a student from the shore.

 

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Snow Make-Up Days

Given the recent inclement weather school closings, the NHREC Makeup Schedule will be as follows in consideration of the revised schedules adopted by the Greater Peninsula School Divisions that operate the NHREC regional programs.

January 26, 2018
NHREC CTE & GSST will use this day as a Make-up Day for Gloucester County, Hampton City, and York County Public Schools.
Poquoson City will operate on a ½ day exam schedule.

Newport News and WJCC will not have school, students will not attend and will be excused.

NHREC Regional Special Education, Center for Autism (CFA) & Newport Academy (NA) will not have school as we follow the schedule for Newport News Public School and as such, cafeteria services are not available.

January 29, 2018 will be a Make-up Day for all NHREC programs.
WJCC will have a professional development day, students will be excused.

February 19, 2018 will be a Make-Up Day for all NHREC programs.
WJCC is closed for President’s Day

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New Horizons Annual Food Drive

Our New Horizons Students, Faculty, and Staff partnered with the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank for our Annual Canned Food Drive. We collected and donated over $1000 which will provide over 4000 meals to those in need.  In addition to the monetary contribution, we donated 21 boxes of non-perishable food items.  Many thanks to our New Horizons Family for making this year’s canned food drive a success.

 

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Advanced Technical Careers Academy Update

All 13 business employers have conducted their recruiting presentations to academy students.  Employers will be providing their hiring procedures and applications during the month of January and the student application process will begin at the end of January – February.  Our 1st year goal is to have at least 20 academy students hired by at least 5 different employers.

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Community Day and Open House at Woodside Lane

The Woodside Lane Career and Technical Programs held a Community Outreach Day on Saturday, November 4 at our Newport News campus. This was the first public opportunity for parents and guests to see our newly renovated labs and inside of the building and we received rave reviews. Visitors were impressed by the open, professional look of the labs as well as the quality of equipment. The excitement in the building was contagious and students were thrilled to show their families their skills. Students from every program performed services or sold products as part of their Student Service Organization activities. Services included haircuts, manicures, car washes and dog grooming. Several programs sold products they had made, such as garden benches, baked goods, and homemade dog treats. The Pharmacy Program ran a Carnival with face and pumpkin painting. Criminal Justice created Crime Riddles for guests to solve as well as finger print art for young children. Computer programming will feature student designed computer games. Parents and community members are invited to see the professionalism and enthusiasm displayed by students. This was our fifth year of running the event, and we raised almost $1800. Proceeds will support two student honorariums which honor former Woodside Lane staff as well as helping fund student travel to competitions.

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Community Service

New Horizon’s Butler Farm Campus Welding Teacher Mr. Dupree and his students welded art racks for Aberdeen Elementary School in Hampton.

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Advanced Technical Career


On November 29, 2017 Students in the Academy for Advanced Technical Careers participated in an information session given by Liebherr.

 

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Advanced Technical Careers Academy

The following companies are scheduled to give recruitment presentations to qualified senior academy students on Wednesday, November 29th. Newport News Shipbuilding, Liebherr, Warwick Mechanical, Middle Peninsula Contracting, Comfort Systems of VA.

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State Fair Competition

The Cosmetology II program at the Butler Farm campus of New Horizons Regional Educational Center participated in the SkillsUSA State Fair Competitions in Doswell, Virginia on October 2nd 2017.

During the competition we had a total of 24 students who competed in various portions. We had 5 students who were awarded placement medals and ribbons for their talent. In addition we had 2 students; Alexander Adams who was awarded 2nd place and Anayah Branham-McMillian awarded 8th place for the more difficult Fantasy Mannekin Competition.
In the Fantasy Live Model competition we had three students place 8th they were Hannah Belisie, Citalay Guerrero-Cortez and Tya Carter.

We as a whole at New Horizons & Cosmetology II are very proud of our fellow students and classmates who put their best effort into this competition and gave everything they had towards this SkillsUSA State Fair Event.

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Student Health Screening at Dozier Middle School

The afternoon Medical Assistant Class of 2018 participated in the Dozier Middle School Health Screening over a period of 4 days. Due to a successful pilot of using students during last school year, Nurse Bloom requested our assistance again this year. The health screening for 300 plus 7th grade students at Dozier Middle School. Included checking the height, weight, hearing and vision along with blood pressure.

This provided a unique opportunity for the students to practice what they have been learning in class.  The student have been preparing for this event since classes began. In addition Nurse Bloom provided additional training on both visual and auditory screening equipment enabling students to perform those tasks as well. I want to thank Nurse Bloom for to providing a real life health care scenario for the students to participate in and assisting in educating the healthcare providers of the future.

 

 

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Mechatronics Program Recognized by Governor

Mechatronics Program Recognized by Governor Terry McAuliffe

Pictured left to right: Dr. Seyed Akhavi, TNCC Dean; Dewey Ray, NHREC CTE Principal; Shelly Simonds NHREC Board of Trustees Chair; Ms. Pam Nuby, Canon VA.; Governor Terry McAuliffe; Rich Wilcox, TNCC Instructor; Dr. Anne Holton, Va. State Board of Education; Dr. Dietra Trent, Va. Secretary of Education

Governor McAuliffe recognized New Horizons Regional Education Center (NHREC), operated by the six Great Peninsula School Divisions, as a recipient of the inaugural Governor’s Awards for Innovation and Excellence in Education, Thursday Oct. 26th at the Executive Mansion in Richmond.  NHREC and Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) partnered in creating Mechatronics collaborative training agreement to provide a pipeline of trained high school graduates to address the documented regional workforce demand for manufacturing technicians.   NHREC provided the classroom and lab space while TNCC, through a Department of Labor Grant, provided equipment, technology and Siemens certified faculty to train 16 high school students.  This training agreement set forth an unprecedented rigor for a one year half-day regional program whereby highly qualified and screened high school students could earn 22 college dual enrollment credits, Siemens Level 1 Mechatronics Certification, and a TNCC Career Studies Certificate in Mechatronics Technology.  The program’s first year produced outstanding results with all 16 students earning all the dual enrollment credits, and 15/16 passing the Siemens Level 1 Mechatronics Certification.

Continue reading for more information or click on the link provided. https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=21618

For Immediate Release: October 27, 2017
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov

Governor McAuliffe Announces Recipients of the Inaugural Governor’s Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Education

~Virginia recognizes outstanding individuals, schools, programs, and~

RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe today announced the first recipients of the Governor’s Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education. This new initiative recognizes outstanding educators and leaders, schools, divisions, and community partners across five categories: closing the achievement gap, community partnerships and collaboration, innovation in education, preparing students for the new Virginia economy; and supporting school readiness. Out of more than 120 nominations, 13 were selected for recognition and honored at the Executive Mansion last night.

“Over the last four years, my administration has worked hard to reduce the achievement gap, improve accountability, and expand opportunities for career exposure and experiential learning in our public schools. These individuals, schools, divisions and partners are at the forefront of that effort, and I applaud their willingness to think outside the box and boldly try new things,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Excellent education is the key to unlocking the potential in our children, our commonwealth, and the new Virginia economy.”

“Every day, Virginia’s education professionals make incredible contributions to our communities and students,” said Secretary of Education Dietra Trent. “This new award is one small way we can recognize their commitment to providing their students with everything they need to succeed in school and in life.”

The award categories and recipients are as follows:

Closing the Achievement Gap

  • Principal Karen Nelson
    As principal of Perrymont Elementary School, Ms. Nelson has significantly improved SOL scores and narrowed the achievement gap.
  • Weems Elementary School
    Under the leadership of Principal Dave Rupert, Weems Elementary staff has improved student achievement through the school’s unique Talents and Gifts program.

Community Partnerships and Collaboration

  • Lord Fairfax Community College
    The college’s Worlds of Work! interactive career expo is an exemplary public-private partnership that engages students in career readiness activities.
  • Fauquier County Public Schools
    The school district has collaborated with the Fauquier Excellence in Education Foundation and the Lord Fairfax Community College – Fauquier Campus to connect students and parents to the opportunities available at Lord Fairfax Community College.

Innovation in Education

  • Harrisonburg School Nutrition Program
    The School Nutrition Program team expanded the district’s summer meal program by converting a bookmobile into a mobile cafe.
  • Dr. Gwendolyn Shannon
    As superintendent of Southampton County Public Schools, Dr. Shannon has implemented a number of innovative initiatives, including Code to the Future programming for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
  • Mosaic Program, Oakridge Elementary School
    As a cross-curricular exemplary project, Mosaic celebrates diversity promotes a deeper learning of Virginia’s content standards and fosters a sense of community throughout Oakridge.
  • New Horizons Regional Education Center – Mechatronics Program
    The New Horizons Regional Education Center Mechatronics Program provides training to students to meet the workforce need for manufacturing technicians.

Preparing Students for the New Virginia Economy

  • Valley Health System
    In partnership with six school divisions and other community agencies, Valley Health System has promoted health sciences opportunities and is fostering a health sciences pipeline within the region.
  • Arlington Public Schools Department of Information Services
    Arlington Student Center’s Cyber Sandbox provides tools and resources to help students advance their cybersecurity knowledge.
  • STEM Trifecta, Virginia Beach City Public Schools
    The STEM Trifecta team has created a platform for all students to join in three types of technical competition: The Robotics Challenge; The Maker Expo; and The Cybersecurity & Cyber Innovation Challenge.
  • United Way of Southwest Virginia
    United Way of Southwest Virginia’s Ignite Program is a partnership between school divisions and regional partners that provides career guidance and work-based learning opportunities to middle and high school students.

Supporting School Readiness

  • Elon Rhodes Early Learning Center
    Sharon Shuttle, Early Learning Services Coordinator, and Anita Warner, Family and Diversity Specialist, have worked to provide early learning opportunities for at-risk three- and four-year-olds in Harrisonburg City Public Schools.

 

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ADVANCED TECHNICAL CAREERS ACADEMY

“The Good Life Solution” – CTE Training to Employment

On October 20, 2017 the NHREC Advanced Technical Careers Academy (ATCA) (Automotive, Construction and Manufacturing) conducted the “The Good Life Solution” employment program kick-off event facilitated by Training Modernization Group (TMG).

The 2017-2018 ATCA Employment Program represents a revolutionary approach that focuses on employers hiring and retention needs. Thirteen local employers agreed to be a part of the ATCA’s first year employment program working with 68 pre-screened seniors currently enrolled in the ATCA training programs who desire to enter the Workforce upon graduation.

Employers will speak to the ATCA students about their company, career opportunities, and employment wages and benefits in November; engage with interested students during the school year; interview in March and proceed to hire qualified students upon graduation.

The goal is to have a minimum of 20 students walking across the stage receiving their NHREC Completer Certificate and handed their employment letter at the same time.  “Our graduates must be a part of our local employer’s talent acquisition and retention pipelines.  They need to be work ready employees that can improve the business’s performance.” says Joe Johnson, “the Good Life Solution is about a BIG Win for our Employers and a huge Win for our ATCA graduates who can have a good paying job with benefits so they can start the Good Life.”

The following employers have agreed to participate in SY 2017-2018.

Automotive
-Suttle Motors
-Coxton’s Collision Repair
-Pomoco Auto Group
-Wynne Ford/Volvo

Construction
-Comfort Systems of Virginia, Inc.
-Middle Peninsula Contracting
-Warwick Mechanical
-Walsh Electric

Manufacturing
– Newport News Shipbuilding
-Continental Automotive Systems
-Liebherr
-Fairlead Integrated
-Canon, VA

Breaking ground on a program of this scope is a significant step towards achieving our mission of energizing the Peninsula’s automotive, construction, manufacturing economy by providing you the employers access to candidates during their Senior Year in High School.  1 Employer, 1 Job, 1 ATC Academy Graduate at a time!

 

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AME Target online New Collar Jobs ATC Academy TNCC & New Horizon

 Mr. Glenn Marshall, AME Management Team, posted an article on the NHREC/TNCC Mechatronics Program in the Advanced Manufacturing Excellence online newsletter “TARGET.”  Mr. Marshall, retired from Newport News Shipbuilding, is a strong supporter of the NHREC Academy for Advanced Technical Careers (Automotive, Construction, Manufacturing). Of the 16 students enrolled in the program in 2016-2017 all earned 22 college credits and 15 passed the Siemens Certification and will earn a Career Studies Certificate from TNCC. You can read more by clicking on the following link: http://www.ame.myindustrytracker.com/en/article/82685?utm_source=ElasticEmail-sb-ame&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=ame-1200-s-en-100817
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WL Culinary Students Whip Up Frothy Foods for Space Station

Feb. 22, 2017
Culinary Students Whip Up Frothy Foods for Space Station
Astronauts are just like everyone – they love desserts.

With that in mind, local high school students recently put their best forks forward to see if their cuisine will reign supreme in space.

Two teams of culinary arts students competed Feb. 16 at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, in a bid to have their apricot crisp and lavender-scented strawberry honey cream desserts be enjoyed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Langley’s teams are among 25 participating in a national competition to develop recipes for the space station astronauts. The teams, from the New Horizons Regional Education Center in Newport News, Virginia, are battling for a spot in the final 10, which will be announced in mid-March. The finalists will compete April 20 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“These were totally their ideas in what they came up with,” said Tonya Ward, a New Horizons culinary arts instructor. “I was really excited because they’ve been working hard on getting everything together.”

The event was part of the High school students United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) Culinary Pre-Competition.

“HUNCH is such an impactful program allowing students to develop potential food for astronauts brings a new level of interest to these culinary students,” said Tammy Cottee, HUNCH program manager at NASA Langley. “Working with the culinary student this year has been just as inspiring and fun as in years past.”

At the beginning of each school year, NASA reaches out to high school culinary programs to seek interest in the HUNCH Culinary Challenge. If a school is interested, the team must research food science and food processing using web links provided by Johnson. The next step is a brief two-page paper describing what they’ve learned about food processing in microgravity.

“The opportunities HUNCH is providing students is invaluable,” Cottee said. “It’s such an inspiration to see the teams collaborate together to generate creative and innovative ways to solve real-world problems for NASA and ISS.”

Local teams have had previous success in this competition. In 2015, a culinary team from Phoebus High School in Hampton, Virginia, won the HUNCH Culinary Challenge and had their entrée, Jamaican rice and beans with coconut milk, included in an astronaut cookbook for preflight preparation to the ISS. Phoebus High’s entrée went to the ISS in April 2016.

The New Horizons teams were not only required to make a tasteful dessert but they researched food process and science, especially related to the microgravity environment on the space station, to meet nutritional requirements. Their research and nutritional factor of the dessert were reviewed by a food specialist at Johnson prior to the pre-competition.

“Using a few ingredients, such as lavender and coconut butter, that are non-traditional indicates the students were thinking out of the box and researching ingredients that would add flavor and pizzazz,” Cottee said.

A panel of six Langley taste testers judged during the pre-competition and rated the desserts on a scale of 1-9 based on appearance, color, smell, flavor and texture.

One of those judges, Steven Francisco, is the general manager of the Langley cafeteria. He praised the efforts of the students, though he did give them some tips given the time he had with them.

“I gave them a few pointers from a fine dining point of view,” he said.

Francisco, who has worked with previous HUNCH culinary students, said the fun for him is watching a student reach an eye-opening moment.

“To do this job as a career it not only takes an ability to cook, it also takes much more to be successful,” he said. “When a truly gifted student comes by watching them grow and go on with their career, it’s very gratifying.”

This was the second year that New Horizons Regional Education Center culinary teams have participated in the HUNCH Culinary Challenge, which was developed in 2014 to provide high school students the opportunity to design and create a new flavorful food for astronauts on board the ISS.

One team of culinary students from New Horizons Regional Education Center created an apricot crisp dessert for the judges.
One team of culinary students from New Horizons Regional Education Center created an apricot crisp dessert for the judges.
Credits: NASA/David C. Bowman
Last year, a New Horizons team made the final 10 and went to Johnson, but came up short.

One team of culinary students created a lavender-scented strawberry honey cream dessert for the judges.
One team of culinary students from New Horizons Regional Education Center created a lavender-scented strawberry honey cream dessert for the judges.
Credits: NASA/David C. Bowman
“It was pretty eye-opening,” said Aleta Luther, who is the team leader for the strawberry honey cream squad, which had six members. “We found and researched so much information that it was quite astounding.”

The senior, who attends Grafton High School in Yorktown, Virginia, was part of a team that did not come out on top last year.

“We were a bit unprepared last year coming into the competition,” she said, adding that her team did not bring as much information and kitchen tools on their trip to Houston to due space and time constraints. “We have found new ways to send our information down (to Houston) to have everything we need. We will be prepared going into this competition.”

While Luther was looking to improve upon last year’s effort, a fellow New Horizons student and first-time competitor was aiming to absorb as much culinary information as he could.

“This program was really interesting to me because I love the thought process in making a dish that it suitable to go into space to feed our astronauts,” said John Moore, a member of the apricot crisp team, which had seven members.

The junior, who attends Warhill High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, has eaten freeze-dried products and MREs (meals ready to eat) “and they don’t taste too great and I’m intrigued in making a dish that is very powerful and flavorful,” he said.

Luther and Moore’s teams had a bit of a rivalry in the taste-testing event, touting their respective dishes in friendly terms.

“We believe that our dish in not only healthy, it also benefits you in so many different ways,” Luther said. “All together it actually balances out quite well.”

Moore was equally complimentary of his team’s offering and in knocking his competition down a peg.

“It’s simple. It tastes, in my opinion, amazing,” he said. “Presentation-wise, I feel ours pops more, the color is more vibrant and appealing to our judges.”

The culinary students have diverse goals after high school. Luther has been accepted to Johnson & Wales University to pursue a career in event planning.

“Ever since I was little I’ve been cooking with my grandmother and my parents,” she said. “It’s been a natural want and desire to recreate everything that you see on TV – the fancy dishes with the chocolate that seems to defy gravity in many shapes and forms.”

Moore wants to use the skills he learned cooking 18th-century food at Colonial Williamsburg in the workforce or in college.

“I want to combine my experience with that plus future knowledge of other cultures and to bring something new to the table,” he said.

Win or lose, the students gained invaluable first-hand knowledge in culinary theory, preparation and nutrition from experienced and passionate mentors.

“It’s awesome to witness the dedication and success the students have in their project,” Cottee said. “The NASA mentors that support each HUNCH project are great role models for the students.”

For more information about the HUNCH Culinary Challenge, click here.
View a photo gallery of the HUNCH events at Langley by clicking here.
A team of culinary students from New Horizons Regional Education Center faces the judges for their dessert.
A team of culinary students from New Horizons Regional Education Center faces the judges for their dessert.
Credits: NASA/David C. Bowman
Eric Gillard
NASA Langley Research Center
Last Updated: Feb. 22, 2017
Editor: Eric Gillard
Tags: International Space Station (ISS), Langley Research Center

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Apprenticeships help fill manufacturing jobs

Learning while you earn gives a jump start to careers for young workers

At just 23, Mike Field has a life many of his high school classmates who went on to college can’t even dream of yet. He has bought a house. He’s engaged to be married. He even has a new puppy, named Ryder.

“I know college gives you ‘the hardware’ — the diploma — but from what I’ve seen, experience counts too, and I’m learning every day,” he said. “At the same time, I’m earning a paycheck.”

Field chose to go to work at Industrial Sales and Manufacturing (ISM) after high school instead of attending college. Officials from the company, located at 2609 W. 12th St., chose him to continue on in a formal apprentice role last year. As an apprentice, Field spends time in each department of the manufacturing sections of the company, becoming skilled at each area before moving on to the next, said Lori Dever, ISM’s workforce development manager. By the time the apprenticeship is complete, Field will have received a nationally recognized certificate of apprenticeship, coupled with more than a dozen National Institute for Metalworking Skills credentials.

ISM is just one of the Erie County companies participating in the Erie Regional Manufacturer Partnership (ERMP), which was formed in 2014 by a group of 20 local manufacturers to develop and implement a plan to identify, qualify and recruit workers. The organization now has 43 members, said Diane Karlin, ERMP’s project manager.

The need for skilled workers in manufacturing has brought together manufacturing competitors for a common goal, she said.

“We need skilled workers, we need to develop a credentialed workforce. They need to be trained, and there’s no better place to train them than inside our own plants right here,” she said. “Establishing apprenticeship programs starts to put in that pipeline of young workers who gain the skills and competencies they need to step in and replace retiring workers, while also developing the foundation for a great manufacturing career.”

Learn while you earn

Apprenticeships are an important part of the equation when considering how to grow the workforce, said Jim Rutkowski Jr., the general manager of ISM. His company has a goal of adding an apprentice every year. Field is the first.

“An apprenticeship is a valuable tool in that process because it’s a learn-while-you-earn model,” he said. “And it combines on-the-job training with job-related instruction tied to the attainment of national skills standards.”

As part of the efforts to ramp up the number of local apprenticeships, ERMP helped the Greater Oh-Penn Mfg. Apprenticeship Network secure a 5-year $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2016.

In its first year, Oh-Penn, whose footprint spans 14 counties in Ohio and Pennsylvania, exceeded its goal of placing 25 apprentices. Fourteen of those placements are at manufacturing plants in Erie County at companies including small machine shops and larger businesses, Karlin said.

Companies like ISM that hire an apprentice receive a sliding reimbursement for training costs, starting at $6,000. But that reimbursement is just a drop in the bucket in terms of expected return on investment, Rutkowski said.

“I’m expecting to lose 10 percent of my workforce every year for the next 10 years to retirement,” Rutkowski said. “So we’re working hard to get young people into manufacturing and to do that, we have to invest in them and they have to invest in us. If we’re going to be successful in the future, we need those young people here.”

ISM and other local companies introduce students to the idea of a career in manufacturing — and the benefits of apprenticeships — early by taking part in recruitment efforts like inviting high school classes in for tours of the plant and participating in a summer manufacturing camp.

“Part of that goal is to get our young people to look at manufacturing in a different way,” said Dever. “People in the past have viewed manufacturing as dark and dingy, but manufacturing today is high-tech. It’s bright and shiny. We’ve got the latest, most up-to-date equipment. You have to, to remain competitive in the global marketplace. But that’s also the kind of thing that changes young people’s mindsets, and gets them interested in a manufacturing career. The chance at an apprenticeship — where you learn while you earn and really get a jump start on your career — is another recruitment tool.”

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Health Sciences – Annual Fall Blood Drive

New Horizons Butler Farm Campus conducted its annual Fall Blood Drive on Nov. 4th in the Electricity and Renewable Energy Lab.  Medical Assistant students visited all classrooms to recruit blood donors on Wednesday, Oct. 26th and made presentations, signed up students, and provided permission slips.  Our campus collected 58 pints of blood exceeding our goal of 40 pints.  

Annual Blood Drive

 

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Virginia State FCCLA Conference

  • The Virginia State FCCLA conference will be held April 6-9, 2017 at the Doubletree Hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  
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Virginia State HOSA Conference

  • The Virginia State HOSA conference will be held March 10-12, 2017 at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton in Williamsburg, Va.  
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BF Bayport Mad City Money Event

 

On February 15, students participated in the Bayport Credit Union MBAYPORT_1ad City Money Event.  Students were provided with a life, which indicated their profession, salary, spouse’s salary, number of children, and monthly insurance premiums. Some students were given credit card debt or student loans. They were then required to visit each station to
purchase housing, transportation, childcare, food plans, mall (haircuts, toiletries etc.) home furnishing, and fun.  At the end of the exercise the students had to balance their budget sheets to determine if they were within their provided budget.

Lady Luck was also wandering around the room to provide students with unexpected windfalls, or expenses to add to their budget.  There was also an opportunity for students to receive $5.00 cash during the simulation. Bayport also gave away $25 Mastercard Gift cards per session, for a total of $200 to our students.

BAYPORT_2 BAYPORT_3
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