Hands-On Training Option Available for High School Juniors and Seniors

Two Industrial Systems students watch their instructor demonstrating a piece of high-tech equipment.

WINTERVILLE—With classes set to begin Aug. 31, the Pitt Community College-Pitt County Schools (PCS) Technical Academy is seeking high school students interested in participating in hands-on training in a traditional classroom setting this fall.

The academy, which developed through a partnership between PCC and PCS in 2018, offers Pitt County juniors and seniors an opportunity to earn college credits in programs not offered at their high schools – Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration, Electrical Systems, Computer Integrated Machining, and Industrial Systems. After graduation, they can apply credits they’ve earned toward an associate degree from PCC and ultimately pursue well-paying careers in high demand.

After starting with 20 students from two Pitt County high schools the first year, the academy welcomed 43 juniors and seniors from six Pitt County public high schools in the second.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, local businesses and industries supported the academy by offering participants facility tours, speaking with them at job fairs, and interviewing academy graduates. They continue to support the program despite the pandemic and hope to host future tours either virtually or, if conditions allow, in-person.

Because the academy is supported through grant funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, PCC-PCS Technical Academy Director Lynn Griffin says students do not pay tuition or fees of any kind. She said transportation to PCC and books are also supplied at no cost to participants.

“There are still spaces available for students who would like an opportunity to learn skills employers are seeking,” Griffin said. “We’ll have enhanced safety measures in place to help protect them from the pandemic, including fewer students per class, face coverings and social distancing.”

Classes, Griffin says, run weekdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Students are then taken back to their respective high schools for lunch and third and fourth period classes.

Juniors and seniors in good academic standing who are interested in participating in the academy are encouraged to contact Griffin at (252) 493-7653 or lgriffin@email.pittcc.edu. Additional information is also available on the PCC Technical Academy Facebook page.