BUCKHANNON — The Fred W. Eberle Technical Center isn’t for everyone, but it is for everyone, which means virtually anyone can pursue their educational and career goals here, the FETC director said this week.
“I always tell people, we’re not for everyone, but we’re for everyone,” FETC director Rebecca Bowers-Call told the Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur at their May 1 meeting. November, where she was the keynote speaker.
In fact, the majority of FETC graduates – a remarkable 87% – find a placement upon completion of the program, but exactly where they find placement varies depending on career and career goals and needs. post-secondary education of students, Bowers-Call told members.
“Last year we had an 87% positive placement rate, which means 87% of our graduates are enrolled in post-secondary education, enlisted in the military, or are employed,” he said. she declared. “So they are placed – they are registered, they are conscripted or they are employed. People often tell me, “It’s not for my child because he’s going to college” – well, many of our students go on to pursue other post-secondary education opportunities, including training at colleges. community and technical or four-year institutions.
Bowers-Call encouraged anyone considering enrolling in FETC – whether high school or post-secondary students, that is, mature students – to have an “open mind and to see if there is something for you or your student”.
“Our students earn certifications in each program, and multiple certifications are available in each program,” she said.
Bowers-Call gave some quick facts about FETC. The center, named after Fred Eberle, a former deputy state superintendent, was established in 1968 as Mountain State’s first multi-county vocational and technical center. It is governed by a Board of Directors made up, in part, of county superintendents from Lewis, Upshur and Barbour.
“Fred Eberle was an assistant state superintendent, and he was very passionate about vocational and technical education, and he determined that if the counties got together and put their funding and resources together, they could deliver greater and better opportunities to all of our students, and luckily for us, it happened at Buckhannon, and I’m thrilled about it,” she said. “I always tell people that I realized when I got to Fred Eberle, we’re kind of one of the best kept secrets in the area. If you know Fred Eberle, you know the trade school, but if it’s not, it’s not something that comes up often enough, and we’re trying to change that.
Bowers-Call said FETC historically hasn’t been able to do much publicity, but federal COVID-19 funding has allowed FETC to begin highlighting its 11 secondary programs. that is, programs primarily available to high school students enrolled in public school. in Lewis, Upshur and Barbour counties, as well as its six adult post-secondary programs.
“What some people don’t know [the 11 second programs] is that we also accept adults in these programs; we welcome adults into these programs every year,” she said. “So we usually take 21 students in each program and if we have 18 [high school students]then we have room for three adults, and these are completely free for adults and there are explanations in our brochures and on our website and Facebook page as well.”
Bowers-Call said the center’s electrical/electrical, diesel, and welding technician programs are the three most popular programs in high school, so spots in those fields aren’t always open to adults, but the FETC offers three adult day post-secondary programs, including practical nursing, truck driving, and cosmetology.
The development and growth of the cosmetology program at FETC is a great example of the camaraderie and collaboration that exists between instructors, administrators and students at the center, Bowers-Call said.
“We really are a family at Fred Eberle, and everyone works together,” she said. “For example, the lounge for our cosmetology program used to be a machine shop and when it was decided there would be a cosmetology program, the students themselves renovated it and now it has 20 stations and full length mirrors, and everybody goes there to get their hair done and their nails done, and that was done by our students, so most of the work in our facility is done by our students and our instructors, so we let’s take care of each other.
Katlyn Tenney and Abby Kelley, two juniors from Buckhannon-Upshur High School enrolled in FETC’s Allied Health Program, highlighted how FETC operates within a simulated workplace model, which means students check in and out , adhere to a mission statement, and perform other tasks that mimic a real work environment.
Kelley, the simulated workplace’s office manager, and Tenney, the security manager, said registering with FETC has given them a head start on getting the certifications they’ll need. to work in the fields of nursing and health care.
“I think what makes trade school different is that you do hands-on things to learn about real-life jobs and you still have your book work,” Kelley said. “What we’ve done recently is finger pricks – we’ve done five – and practiced drawing blood and learning the phlebotomy part in order to get our phlebotomy certification.”
Tenney said she and Kelley earned their OSHA-10 certification, a 10-hour course covering general safety and health hazards for entry-level workers, as well as other certifications including CPR and first aid.
“You can get a lot of different certifications, you can get your CPR, your first aid, your EKG monitor, and your OSHA, your phlebotomy,” Tenney said. Both Tenney and Kelley want to attend West Virginia Wesleyan College after high school, and while Tenney hopes to work as a midwife, Kelley wants to be an obstetrics nurse.
Other daytime secondary programs at FETC include Automotive Technology, Carpentry, Collision Repair Technology, Computer Systems Repair Technology, HVAC Technician, Robotics, and Therapeutic Services. To learn more about FETC, located at 208 Morton Avenue, visit its website at https://fetc.edu/