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Looking At Limerick’s Education Alternative

Three Surprises At The Western Montgomery
Career And Technology Center

Career and technology education (once called “vocational technology”) has for far too many years been thought of as a distant second choice to attending college. That’s changed over time, as places like the Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center in Limerick turn out highly skilled, job-focused students who employers are ready to hire at better-than-average wages as soon as they graduate … or earlier.

The Western Center’s Graterford Road campus serves the Spring-Ford Area, Pottsgrove, and Upper Perkiomen school districts. Members of a local advisory committee that consists of representatives from all three gathered Wednesday (April 5) in its dining room for a state-of-the-center update, and to talk about its curriculum plans for next year. The committee heard three items that held its attention:

  1. The overall educational performance of Western Center students in its 18 different trade preparation programs significantly exceeds the performance average for students in similar schools across Pennsylvania. These students are motivated, its staff explained, and are not only succeeding but in many cases leading the pack of their peers.
  2. A four-page spreadsheet of starting, average, and high-end wages for what the county Workforce Development Board labels as “high-priority occupations” indicates that, whether they go into work directly after high school or go on to some other school for a certification or two-year degree, Western Center job-ready students have a chance to earn higher starting incomes than a sizable group of their competitors for the same positions. And, keep in mind, they end up with comparatively little or no college debt.
  3. Students who might otherwise take advanced or tougher courses in their home high schools are beginning to look at Western Center programs as an equivalent alternative. The staff declined to identify the sending school, but a ninth-grader who ranks fourth overall in his class in one of the three districts this year selected a Western Center career path so he could pursue his passion.

The message to parents of students in grades 9-12 is this: don’t jump to conclusions about career and technology education. Let your daughters and sons explore it at places like the Western Center. College may be an answer for some future high school graduates, but it’s certainly not the answer for all of them.

Usual Places, Like North Sanatoga Road, Flooded Thursday

Heavy rains throughout Thursday (April 6, 2017) across the Greater Pottstown area significantly raised local water levels and caused flooding of Sanatoga Creek in Lower Pottsgrove. Poor drainage also led to localized ponding on adjacent North Sanatoga Road.

Call It A Trailblazing Winner

(Photo from Google Images)

Sullivan’s Bridge, the bicycle and pedestrian trail bridge across the Schuylkill River and parallel to U.S. Route 422 – built and completed last summer by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation – has won the 2017 Transportation Award presented by the King of Prussia Business Improvement District. The National Park Service, which owns and maintains the bridge (above) located within Valley Forge National Historical Park, won a companion award.

A PennDOT press release proclaiming the happy news was issued Wednesday (April 5).

While the design probably will be different, a bridge for the same purpose – taking trail users over the Schuylkill – is part of the continuing reconstruction of 422 through Lower Pottsgrove and adjacent North Coventry townships.

It’s Stuff That’s Noticed ‘Around Town’

You’re reading Around Town, a news experiment from The Post. It focuses on short, quickly scanned, and hopefully interesting items curated from a variety of feeds and other sources.

Around Town (for the week of April 3-9, 2017):

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