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Nov. 12, 2021--Middle school and high school students from around the county heard from over two dozen professionals in the engineering and electrical technology fields in a first-ever DCC Tech Day on Oct. 29.
Hosted in partnership with the Mid-Hudson Technology and Engineering Educators Association (MHTEEA), over 400 students from area schools, including Van Wyck Middle School, Arlington High School and Marlborough High School, patched into the virtual experience, which featured panel conversations with industry leaders, many of whom are DCC alums.
“There is a tremendous demand for engineers and electrical technicians in the Hudson Valley right now,” said Dan Barbuto, chair of the electrical technology and engineering programs. “And this program was geared to getting and keeping students involved, motivated and excited about technology – starting in middle school through to their senior year. We think opportunities like this can go a long way to engage students – but equally important, get our alums and local industry leaders involved as well.”
Barbuto is already planning a range of possible follow-up activities, including offering middle and high school students the opportunity to visit DCC to see for themselves the range of exciting hands-on lab activities in which technology and engineering students can participate. He also hopes to connect the budding engineers and electrical technicians with students in the DCC electrical technology and engineering programs to discuss why they are excited about their major and upcoming careers.
"And for sure, we’re going to have more of these kinds of Tech Days,” said Barbuto. “If we are to make a ‘dent’ in addressing the workforce needs of our county, we need to start early. If we can get middle schoolers interested in this in-demand field, we have a better chance of engaging high schoolers. And if we can keep high schoolers interested, we at DCC can help put them on a career path that’s rewarding, well-paying and much-needed.”