Internship opportunities lead to employment for CTE students

Oswego County BOCES’ Burton Ramer Technical Career Center (BRTCC) has many work-based learning programs to provide on-the-job work experience for high school students enrolled in their career and technical education programs.

These work-based learning programs, in conjunction with the CTE class, provide students with hands-on experience in jobs directly related to their career field. Worksite tours, job shadow, internships, capstone, co-op and clinical work experience opportunities are coordinated by Oswego County BOCES with industry partners for every CTE program.

<p>Josh Marcellus, a first-year student from Pulaski, works at Trust Nursery Inc. as part of his internship through the Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology program at OCB. His internship with Trust has allowed him extensive experience in the greenhouse and day-to-day operations of a nursery. Josh was hired by the internship site part time during the busy planting season.</p>

These in-the-field experiences can range from a worksite tour, or field trip to a local business that generally consists of a few hours involving mostly observation, to an unpaid internship at a business lasting one to four weeks, or to paid internship opportunities such as the Capstone and Co-op programs.

Together with employers in the area who are willing to work with students in their field, students work one to four half days per week as regular, part-time, paid employees.

Second-year students who participate in the Capstone program must be in good academic standing in their CTE program as well as their academic classes, have a good attendance rate, be at least 16 years of age and have working papers.

Two students from the Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology program at Oswego County BOCES have done so well in their internships they have been hired by their employer outside of school.

Josh Marcellus, a first-year Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology student from Pulaski was placed at Trust Nursery in the Pulaski area where for the past few weeks he has gotten off the bus four mornings a week at their Route 11 location and reported to work for his unpaid internship.

The company was so impressed with Marcellus’ work ethic and knowledge of the industry; they offered him a job through the early growing season. He now works afterschool and weekends for the family-run business. Owner of Trust Nursery, Dick Trust, said of Marcellus, “He’s been a real benefit. He came in very knowledgeable and has been very willing to learn. In a short time he has picked up a great deal and is self-motivated to get done what needs to be done.” Adding, “If I had five more like him, I’d hire them all!”

Trust Nursery has participated with the BOCES Career and Technical Education program through internships for over 20 years and has been very pleased with the students that have been placed with them. Marcellus was also pleased with the placement, and is happy to gain the additional greenhouse and equipment experience.

<p>Sara Bartlett, left, a second-year student enrolled in the Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology program at Oswego County BOCES works on an arrangement at Maida’s Floral Shop in Oswego, while shop manager Cindy Morley, right, looks on. Bartlett is employed by Maida’s through a Capstone Internship at OCB.</p>

Sara Bartlett, a second-year Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology student from the Fulton City School District participated with the Capstone Internship program at Maida’s Floral Shop in Oswego. Capstone allows students who have gained a great deal of knowledge about their chosen field to spend more time in their internship, and be paid for that time by their employer. Maida’s Floral Shop in Oswego has partnered with Oswego County BOCES through internship opportunities and with Bartlett, through a paid Capstone internship.

For Bartlett, the hands-on, day-to-day operation in the industry has solidified her desire to open her own shop someday. She will head to SUNY Morrisville in the fall where she plans to major in business. She will continue to return to Oswego during holidays and breaks from school to work at the Oswego floral shop in their new location on First Street.

Said Bartlett about her Capstone experience, “I’m having the time of my life, I really appreciate the opportunity that my employer has given me through their participation in the Capstone internship program.”

Her thanks extend also to her teacher at Oswego County BOCES, Margaret Rice, who she says “taught me everything I know about floral design.” Bartlett’s internship has allowed her extensive experience in the floral industry, with processing flowers, designing arrangements, wedding and consultation work, retail display, and the importance of customer service. Cindy Morley, Maida’s store manager praised Bartlett for her excellent customer service skills saying, “She’s great with customers, it’s one of her strongest skills, that and design,” she said, adding, “She has a great eye for design.”

The opportunity to work alongside industry professionals in their chosen field is the cornerstone of why the internship programs at OCB are important in bridging the gap between the classroom curriculum and the world of work. For Sara and Josh, the bridge opened up an opportunity to gain valuable experience as well as employment in the Floral Design and Greenhouse Technology industry.

For more information about career and technology programs or internship opportunities, contact Ronald Camp, Director of Career and Technology and Alternative Programs at OCB at 315-963-5251.