Liverpool, N.Y. — The Northeast Equipment Dealers Assn. (NEDA) introduced its ag technician apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs (www.nedaapprentice.com) to high school ag teachers and administrators, explained the development process, the difference between a time based and competency based apprenticeships, future plans and goals.
Follow on discussions revealed that several of the core competencies which form the foundation of core competencies within apprenticeship programs were not being addressed adequately within some of the ag programs. Digging deeper, NEDA found that a number of ag teachers had not had prior experience and were not comfortable teaching selected subjects, and that access to current industry training specifically focused on those competencies wasn’t readily available to the teachers.
Recognizing the opportunity, NEDA and the Lancaster Workforce Development Board, with support from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor, reached out and partnered with the staff and leadership at the Penn State Teach Ag Center for Professional Personnel Development. Together, they identified co-operative training opportunities and began making them available to ag teachers.The first co-operative effort was an introduction to electronic systems and diagnosis and was held June 24-27 at the Lancaster Farm and Home Center.
Mr. Dan Sullivan of Sullivan Training Systems, Durham, N.C. was the instructor. Recognized as an industry expert trainer, Sullivan made special effort to help teachers feel comfortable learning new material and more especially identifying ways that they could incorporate new subject matter and hands on exercises into their classrooms.
NEDA’s field director, Tim Wentz said, “While we all recognized that there are plenty of ‘opportunities’ ahead, it was rewarding to find partners willing to begin addressing the challenges today and let the ‘system’ catch up! We are looking forward to working with our partners to organizing programs focused on hydraulic and power transmission systems as well as diesel engines in the near future.”