Students Make Their Case for Career and Technical Education


Cumberland Perry AVTS would like to thank Representatives Glen Grell, Sheryl Delozier, Mark Keller, and Stephen Bloom for setting aside some of their valuable time to speak with our students!

The common conception of education in the U.S. seems to be one that places the highest value on "white collar" positions.  Sometimes, the advanced training required in the programs at CPAVTS gets overlooked and undervalued.

On January 29, five students from Cumberland Perry AVTS met with legislators in Harrisburg to discuss why they value their technical education.

Josh Arvey (a Red Land senior in the Culinary program); Abigail Albright (a Newport senior in Horticulture); Brandi Coldsmith (a Big Spring senior in Dental Assisting); Gabriel Schroff (a Newport Senior in Electrical Construction and Maintenance); and Felicia Webber (a West Perry junior in Carpentry) each took about 15-20 minutes to speak with four different legislators.

Read more: Students Make Their Case for Career and Technical Education

CPAVTS Student Heralded as "Craftsman of the Future"

2014-01-16 Dalton Rush Interview 2

In the literal sense, every student studying a construction-based discipline at Cumberland Perry AVTS  is studying to be come a "Craftsman (or Woman!) of the Future". But recently, Carpentry senior Dalton Rush earned the official title as part of an honor called the Celebration of Excellence.

Instructors in the CPAVTS Construction Cluster of programs each nominated a student who they felt best deserved to be called a Craftsman of the Future. Each has their own methods of making this decision, but the overall qualities sought after are: knowledge of the field; attendance; work ethic; respectfulness of others; initiative; and other similar factors.

Last week, Mr. Rush conducted a video interview with representatives from the Mid-Atlantic Builder's Exchange. On March 27, the video will be presented during the Celebration of Excellence along with the Craftsmanship Awards being presented to professionals in various construction fields. Congratulations to Dalton Rush on his outstanding achievement!

Program Spotlight - Auto Technology

Program Spotlight – Auto Technology

auto tech photo for program spotlight

Bryan Dirks and Jared Comeau are CPAVTS’ Auto Technology instructors. Mr. Dirks, a CPAVTS graduate, is in his 9th teaching year at the school. His post-graduate work includes the GM ASEP Associates Program at HACC and working for Brenner Cadillac in Harrisburg. Mr. Comeau obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technolo

gy Management from The Pennsylvania College of Technology and later became an automotive technician and then Assistant Service Manager at European Imports in Woolrich, PA. This is Mr. Comeau’s 8th year of teaching at CPAVTS.

Here is what these two outstanding instructors have to say about the program:

CPAVTS: What is the most significant new or different aspect to your program this year? Mr. Dirks: We are continuing to work with the new POS Task List for Automotive Technology (editor’s note- the Program of Study (POS) Task is a list of curriculum tasks required by the Department of Education and established through a committee of industry and educational professionals). Mr. Comeau: Most of our seniors are participating in the cooperative education program. They go to their sending school for half the day and to work for the other half.

CPAVTS: What are some of the more common career pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS? Mr. Dirks: Most students go directly into the workforce.  Of those in the workforce; many do some sort of post-secondary training at a technical college. Mr. Comeau: Most go directly into the workforce. Several graduates go on to a technical school to continue their education. Most that go on to technical schools utilize our articulation agreement which allows them to count what they learned at CPAVTS as college credits.

CPAVTS: What particular training/unit do employers seek that helps students get their foot in the door? Mr. Dirks: Most of local service managers are interested in safety inspection and emissions licenses.  Most of the seniors are able to pass the tests, which are offered here to them before they graduate.  Mr. Comeau: Safety and emissions inspection licenses.

CPAVTS: What unit/topic do students struggle with the most in your program? Why do you think that is? Mr. Dirks: I see a lot of organizational skills that are lacking.  For almost every procedure we do there is a great need to keep everything completely lined up so that there is no error during reassembly.  Mr. Comeau: Electrical systems are traditionally difficult for the students.

CPAVTS: Explain a typical day in your program. Mr. Dirks: Students learn the theory of some part or system (normally for 45 minutes).  For the rest of the time the students are on the shop floor practicing the task that we discussed in the classroom. Mr. Comeau: Students are required to work independently and in small groups, and must manage their time appropriately.

CPAVTS: What advice would you give to students who have completed your program?

Mr. Dirks: Keep at it; I see the demand for a skilled technician rising in the future. Mr. Comeau: Stay current on new technologies. Never stop learning.



Some words from our Auto Tech students:

Summarize what you learn in your program.

            “We learn how to safely and knowledgeably diagnose and repair a car.”

What is the most fun part of your program?

            “Hands-on work on real cars in the shop with friends.”

What is going to be the highlight of the year in your program?

            “Getting my inspection license.”

What are you proud of learning how to do in your program?

            “I’m proud of learning all of the parts to an engine and being able to disassemble and reassemble everything.”

Rotary Students of the Month- January

January 2 students of the month


Brandi Coldsmith is a Big Spring School District student enrolled in the Dental program. She is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and Secretary of the Health Occupations Students of America in addition to volunteering at the Harrisburg Food Bank. Brandi plans to attend Hagerstown Community College to pursue a degree in Dental Hygiene.

Josh Arvey is a West Shore School District student enrolled in the Culinary program. He is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and the stage crew. He also serves as President of SkillsUSA, where he placed first in district competition, first in state competition, and 14th in national competition. Josh also volunteers for the Leukemia Society, public library, and church service projects. He plans to major in Business Management at HACC and/or Penn State.

Cooperative Education Spotlight-Benjamin Myers

2014-01-13 Ben Myers Co-Op Spotlight

Benjamin Myers, a senior from Big Spring High School enrolled in the Carpentry program, is currently participating in the Cooperative Education program here at CPAVTS. While most of Ben’s classmates are sleeping before school starts, he is on his way to a jobsite with Pyramid Construction Services Inc. Upon his arrival, he meets with the site foreman to find his daily tasks. One day that may include framing with steel studs, hanging drywall, repairing acoustic ceilings, hanging doors, or participating in many other construction related activities. This on the job training is difficult to simulate and helps prepare him for real world expectations.  Ben states that he loves being involved in all phases of a job and eventually getting to see the completed project.  He takes pride in all his work and is more than prepared for the everyday rigors of the construction trade.