Ulster BOCES Celebrates 500 Young Professionals

PORT EWEN — On June 8, the Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center honored nearly 500 young professionals from high schools across the region during its Class of 2023 Completion Celebration. The event was held at the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) in Kingston.

The young professionals were recognized for completing the requirements of their respective trade programs, ranging from Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, Criminal Justice, Fashion Design, Cisco & Cyber Security, to Electrical Construction & Maintenance, Custom Robotic Design & Manufacturing, Welding & Metal Fabrication, and more.

Also recognized were 108 young professionals who are members of the esteemed National Technical Honor Society and 60 who actively participated in SkillsUSA, a national workforce leadership program that fosters community service and leadership training, as well as provides opportunities to participate in regional, state, and national trade competitions.

Saugerties CSD’s Nathan Rodriguez, who completed the Ulster BOCES Custom Robotic Design & Manufacturing program, is congratulated by Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center principal Joseph Salamone.
Saugerties CSD’s Nathan Rodriguez, who completed the Ulster BOCES Custom Robotic Design & Manufacturing program, is congratulated by Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Center principal Joseph Salamone.

Many of the young professionals also participated in the Capstone Internship program, which provided them with the opportunity to gain real-world work experience in their chosen area of study. In 2022-23, these job experiences included 63 paid internships where young professionals earned a combined total of over $11,000 each week while also meeting academic requirements for their program of study. Other young professionals–148 in all–were involved in experiential or clinical internships.

Valedictorian Philip Colangelo, a young professional from New Paltz Central School District who attended the Ulster BOCES Cisco & Cyber Security program, plans to continue studying cyber security at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the fall. Addressing the Class of 2023, he told them to step out of their comfort zone because that is where they would find opportunities to learn and grow. This year’s salutatorian is Riley LeMay from the Saugerties Central School District, who attended the Ulster BOCES Animal Science program. She plans to attend Wilson College.

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