AP NEWS

Meyersdale officials excited for new vocational school program

March 7, 2019

Meyersdale school district officials are excited about a new program in the works at the Somerset County Technology Center — despite some additional costs. The technology center included an 8.3 percent budget increase this year for a new service occupations program.

The proposed budget is $5,004,678.39 for the general fund and $1,587,005.37 for the adult education fund. The Meyersdale school board approved the budget at a meeting Wednesday. The new program would allow students to experience some of the center’s programs, such as culinary school, hotel maintenance and woodworking, for one year, then switch to another program.

Meyersdale Superintendent Tracey Karlie said the goal of the program is to let students experience those programs and get employable skills without going through the full three-year program and testing for a certificate.

“Every school has students who could benefit from that program,” he said. “It puts them in more hands-on, interactive programming.”

He said the additional costs would pay for additional staffing and startup fees.

“Our goal is to have students engaged and employable when they leave,” he said.

Meyersdale board president Ron Donaldson said he thinks it is a valuable project.

“I think this program’s going to be very beneficial,” he said. “And there’s an opportunity for co-op, and I’m excited about that.”

Donaldson added that Meyersdale’s students are doing well at the technology center and excelling.

“We’re proud of them,” he said.

Board member Heather Reese was also excited to hear about the new program.

“I think that sounds great,” she said. “Any newer opportunity to get engaged is excellent. It’s hard to find those opportunities, so more is good.”

Karlie added that all of the schools that participate in the technology center programs will have to approve of the new budget, and, if they don’t approve or if the program doesn’t work out, the funds for the program will be subtracted from the proposed budget.