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Twenty students were honored during the WNY P-TECH Senior Advancement Ceremony in Dunkirk.

Students at WNY P-TECH College & Career Academy in Dunkirk have had a lot to celebrate lately.

P-TECH employees, students and families had the opportunity to come together in person this year for the WNY P-TECH Senior Advancement Ceremony to honor seniors who are continuing to Jamestown Community College, pursuing a four-year degree, or entering the world of work.

“What looked like a trip I didn’t want to enjoy turned out to be the best experience and decision I’ve ever made. I am proud to be part of the P-TECH program and all that it has to offer. “ said Jailene Jimenez of Dunkirk, Senior Class Representative and member of the National Honor Society. “As I continue my journey into my future, I will smile knowing that others like me will begin the journey to P-TECH and will join me in the future of advances in technology and the world of opportunity.”

This summer, Jailene Chase Cooper of Gowanda joins as one of two students who have completed internships at IBM and a number of senior citizens who have found work in the area, including Mason Grudzien of Gowanda with Basil Chevrolet; Eric Raynor of Falconer with Dunkirk Metal Products; Gavin Swanson of Jamestown with Luscombe Aircraft; and Chase Cooper and Makenzie Lawton of Pine Valley, who were employed by Ring Precision.

“We have already been lucky enough to hire three students from this program and we will have three interns as well.” said Dale Gier, President and CEO of Ring Precision and the winner of P-TECH Business Partner of the Year. “As a manufacturer and someone who employs a lot of people, we are happy to work with Mr. Smock and P-TECH. I hope that we will be able to take on more and more students from this program in the years to come. “

P-TECH is a full-day program housed in a state-of-the-art facility at 55 East Benton St., Dunkirk. Students enroll in P-TECH as ninth graders and follow one of two paths in welding and mechanical technology specializing in CADD or machine tools and earn an associate degree at Jamestown Community College with no expenses.

During the Senior Advancement Ceremony, P-TECH recognized Cohort 1 students Jordan Butterfield of Lake Shore, Whitney Hice and Luke Peterson-Riedesel of Dunkirk, and Katlyn Lawton of Pine Valley for completing the Jamestown Community College portion of the P-TECH program .

“When I made the difficult decision at the end of eighth grade whether or not to start at P-TECH, I was nervous. It was a long bus ride and I left all my friends behind. Then I went to my first summer bridge. On the bus ride from Jamestown to LoGuidice, our old building at the time, I met my best friend Jack. After the director blew the new Phantom 3 drone in the engineering department and Richard Rasmus first taught me how to use a 3D printer, I knew P-TECH was the place for me. “ said Gavin Swanson during the closing remarks of the ceremony. “Today I build and fly a small general aviation aircraft at Luscombe Aircraft Corporation and I am happy to say that I use the skills I acquired through Mr. Anson’s CADD courses almost every day. Everything from the reverse engineering of an instrument panel at Solidworks to the plasma cutting of a new one to the renewal of chassis mounting brackets on our milling machines here at P-TECH. “

Other speakers included William Smock, Rector of P-TECH; Iann Ramirez, Senior Class Representative and NHS member; Janeil Rey, Ph.D., E2CCB director of human resource development; Erin Moynihan, P-TECH consultant; Jean Schrader, Dean of STEM at JCC; and NHS member Michael Mitchell of Dunkirk.

Recognized seniors include Gavin Cave from Dunkirk, Chase Cooper from Gowanda, Alexander Crow from Fredonia, Jeffrey DeYoung from Silver Creek, Nathan Edgar from Lake Shore, Dylan Gee from Fredonia, Mason Grudzien from Gowanda, Jailene Jimenez from Dunkirk, Alexander Kochanowski from Sherman, Michael Lamar from Brocton, Kyler Laskey from Dunkirk, Makenzie Lawton from Pine Valley, Michael Mitchell from Dunkirk, Abby Post from Pine Valley, Iann Ramirez from Dunkirk, Eric Raynor from Falconer, Jack Sturges from Jamestown, Gavin Swanson from Jamestown, Ian Szymanek from Silver Creek and Adam Thornton from Brocton.

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