Celebrating its 40th anniversary, West Side Career and Technology Center (West Side CTC) was the first licensed vocational school in Pennsylvania. While continuing its pledge to “build careers one student at a time”, West Side CTC currently enrolls more than 500 students.
“We will always have a small school focus,” said Director of Recruiting and Marketing Lorri Vandermark.
The school’s prolonged success is due in part to its ability to continuously evolve to better meet student and community career needs.
“To fit what students want, the school is designing a brand new learning kitchen for the culinary program that will allow us to almost double class capacity,” Vandermark said.
Although relatively new to the administrative staff, Vandermark is the proud alumna of a career and technology center.
”It truly is like a family,” she said.
The school is unique in that almost the entire student body receives both a technical as well as academic education. This gives instructors additional insight into each student’s unique needs and career goals. Advanced academic courses are available to meet the requirements for students who plan on continuing their education.
In total, 15 programs are offered and nearly 75% of them offer industry certifications, enabling students to stand out in the job market and potentially earn higher starting wages.
”Our goal is to make our students more marketable,” said Vandermark.
Many local employers hire West Side CTC graduates because it produces highly skilled and trained employees. Due to its tremendous student employment program, students are sometimes hired by the time they graduate.
Training from West Side CTC can provide substantial employment for students while furthering their education in college or as a career to fall back on.
“In today’s economy, everyone wants something to fall back on,” said Vandermark.
West Side CTC will continue to adapt to meet the needs of students and employers in our region. Night classes for adult training and certifications are in the initial planning stages.
Administrative Director Elizabeth J. Ellis’s
outlook for the next five years includes that West Side CTC will become “one of the major providers of employees in Luzerne County.”
For more information, visit West Side CTC online at www.wsctc.net or call 570-288-8493.