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Utica Shale Academy, NCST Team up for Open House Aug. 20

EAST LIVERPOOL — The Utica Shale Academy and New Castle School of Trades are teaming up to showcase their offerings on Aug. 20.

The schools will host an open house from 5-7 p.m. at NCST, which is located at 129 E. Fifth St. in East Liverpool, so attendants may obtain schedules, tour the facility and learn more about both programs.USA Director Bill Watson said it was the first time the event has been held and was the idea borne from talks between officials.

“We had a meeting and there were discussions of a shared vision to grow our partnership in the future,” he said.

USA has partnered with NCST for the past three years with high school students taking classes to earn 250 hours for welding certification at the East Liverpool campus. In addition to combination welding, NCST offers commercial truck driving, electrical and industrial maintenance and refrigeration and climate control programs for adults.

NCST Director Jim Buttermore said the partnership with USA has been progressing to help students prepare for the workforce, while the open house was another way to spotlight both programs.

“We’re trying to stimulate interest for parents as well as students,” he commented. “The open house is important and the students and public need to know what’s available.”

Meanwhile, Watson will continue promoting the community school at area events such as the upcoming Back to School Bash on Aug. 19 at Southern Local High School where USA is based, and he plans to contact other schools and work with trade organizations to help prepare students for lucrative careers upon graduation.

“We have career connections coming to the board meetings and are working with some local employers to help give our students the skills they seek,” he added.

Now entering its sixth year, USA serves students in grades 9-12 at Southern Local and the satellite location at Columbiana High School, and about 60 pupils are expected to enroll for the 2019-20 term. The program, which is sponsored by the Jefferson County Educational Service Center, provides curricula required by the Ohio Department of Education with a customizable digital program allowing for acceleration or remediation, plus flexible scheduling and safety certification courses. Academy graduates receive a high school diploma, certificates and college credit options offered through Eastern Gateway Community College.

For more information about the open house or programs, contact NCST at (330) 368-3130 or or Watson at (330) 692-0985, bill.watson@omeresa.net or uticashaleschool.com.

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