A Look at EWCTC


Anne Dalton & Sara Majorsky, Managing Editor, Business Manager

Allied Health

This program is an eighteen-week internship offered to students at Greater Latrobe, Derry, and Ligonier Valley who may be interested in a career in the healthcare industry.  During the semester, students will have the opportunity to learn some of the skills needed in health-related careers as well as interact with experienced doctors, nurses, and other technicians. Interns will get to experience a variety of different areas in medicine at Excela Health Latrobe Hospital and other medical facilities within the area. At the end of the semester, each intern has the opportunity to do an eight-hour practicum with a healthcare professional of their choice based on what they liked throughout the semester or something they would like to learn more about.

Automotive Technology

The program gives students the chance to learn basic automotive vehicle system knowledge as well as become familiar with the on-board computer system with available resources. The course equips students with the operational knowledge they would need in order to maintain and regulate engines in vehicles. The Automotive Program is certified through the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the Safety Inspection/Emissions Inspection.


Students will learn and understand the facets of cabinetmaking.  An overview of safety, set-up, and operation will be included when learning and mastering carpentry skills.  In the program, they will also perform typical duties of cabinet makers in terms of designing and constructing.  Projects range from finished wood projects to custom made pieces. Students will also have the opportunity to gain a Pennsylvania Builders Associations Skills Certification (PBA) as well as an OSHA 10 Certification.

Collision Repair Technology

In the Collision Repair Technology program, students will learn the entire spectrum of collision repair from the most basic fixes to advanced skills to repair and restore a collision-damaged vehicle. Students are taught the techniques to do detailed or timely work efficiently.  Students will demonstrate what they have learned in providing collision estimates, doing paperwork, and managing different responsibilities at the professional level. This program has received national certification by NATEF and PPG Certifications are earnable.

Computer Engineering Technology

The program is designed to develop hardware and software skills crucial to understanding the design and development of computer systems. The CISCO CCNA curriculum is covered in addition to wireless networking, computer and Internet security, and Visual Basic .NET computer programming, which enhances preparation for temporary and permanent job opportunities in the field. Computer Engineering Technology students are able to attain multiple certifications through the program including CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA), CISCO Entry Networking Technician, A+ Certification, Network + Certification, and Security + Certification.

Construction Trades

Construction Trades gets students ready to apply technical knowledge and skills used in assembling buildings or other types of framework. Students are given the fundamentals of related math and blueprint reading skills. The skills are practiced in order to execute quality work by using the wide range of construction equipment available in the classroom. The PA Builder’s Association Skills and Residential Construction Academy (RCA) National Registry are among the two certifications that are able to be obtained through taking this course.


The cosmetology program features all aspects of the beauty culture. Students enrolled in this program will learn everything from manicures and pedicures to facial services. Mannequins are practiced on at first until one has built up to the technical skills needed to perform on a client.  The program is designed to prepare each student by including an on-site beauty salon at EWCTC, where services are brought to reality by going through the entire process of scheduling an appointment to the actual performance of a service such as a haircut or color. The Pennsylvania State Board of Cosmetology Certification is able to be obtained upon completion of the program.

Culinary Arts

The Culinary Arts program provides the platform for a student to learn the basic skills needed to be successful at a starting position in a culinary career. All aspects of the food service industry are touched upon through the coursework. The program prepares students for a job at the professional level in the food service industry by acquiring hands on experience cooking and preparing different types of foods. “Throughout the three years in the culinary program, I have excelled in my technique, quality of product, and time management,” said senior Amanda White. “I was able to do so by having many opportunities and having accurate experience from my teacher who has excelled in the industry.”  Also, students will be able to recognize the importance of balancing a meal along with the financial side of culinary arts. Within this program, students are able to earn a ServSafe Certificate that educates food service workers about safe food conditions through the National Restaurant Association.  “My tech experience will greatly impact my future because failing has shown me to never give up. Perfection takes time,” said White.  “And if I can produce a full course French meal, I can conquer many things in life.”

Digital Media Technology

Students interested in web design, animation, multimedia, digital video production, and digital photography have the opportunity to learn through the Digital Media Technology program. The program advances the skill sets and understanding in each facet of this career field. Along with other hands on assignments, Digital Media offers a chance to work with image editing and offers an Adobe Certified Certificate. Videography and digital SLR cameras are used in projects to create hypothetical advertisements along with other artistic pieces. Digital Media skills are in high demand for creative people considering jobs within the realm of web, multimedia art, video producing, photography, marketing, advertising, public relations, and graphic design. Hannah Noel, a senior within the program said, “I’ve gotten to be the team photographer for BOTSIQ for the past two years.”  In regards to opportunities she’s had along the way, Noel explained, “I’ve gotten to photograph a wedding, senior pictures, and more. It has helped me get my name and reputation out in the community, which will definitely help in the future when I’m looking for side shoots and maybe even a job.”

Graphic Communications

Having an eye for detail and design are important for this career field. That being said, design is everywhere and a vital part of today’s artistic and business world. Graphic Communications offers a wide variety of career options to train for. Whether a student is interested in careers such as a graphic designer, creative director, print production artist, cartoonist, digital imaging specialist, graphic artist, illustrator, or an offset press operator, they can excel through this program. Throughout the course, students have to ability to obtain an Adobe Certified Associate and PrintEd Certification.

Health Occupation Technology

This program is highly focussed on developing students towards endeavors in the medical field. Whether a student wants to become a nurse, medical office assistant, nurse aide, physical therapist, EMT, or massage therapist, this broad program can allow them to advance.  Not only can you receive a PA Nurse Aide Certification, but a CPR Certification as well. Courtney Hixson, a senior at Latrobe, explained her ambitions within this field. “I chose Health Occupations because I heard about the Nurse Aide Certification that you are able to receive through the class. As a nurse aide I could make up to $18/ hour” said Hixson. While being apart of the program, she has found her niche. “I’m looking into pediatric nursing, I’m very happy around kids and it’s always something I have been interested in,” she added. Courtney offered insight on what she has learned thus far. “The most valuable thing I’ve learned so far is that teamwork is key. Whether it’s in the classroom or working as a nurse aide, you really accomplish so much more when you’re able to work through it with your peers,” said Hixson.

Machine Tool Technology

Many products in today’s society are manufactured and our economy needs workers to facilitate and take on the responsibility of working within the Machine industry. Some careers this program offers include; mechanical Engineers, Shop Foreman, machinists, machine operators, CNC setup programmers, quality control inspectors, aerospace engineers, and heavy equipment repair machinists. Machine Tool Technology offers the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS), which is valued among post-secondary education opportunities and for a head start on a career under this realm. Students learn skill sets such as measuring, machine operations, and blueprint reading.


Masons, bricklayers, contractors, supervisors, and technicians all have vital roles in the process of construction. City buildings, businesses, restaurants, and homes are all built by people who have masonry skills and experience. Students in this field learn how important it is to work efficiently on foundations to get to large scale goals. The quality is in the details. Through this program, students have the opportunity to achieve a 10 Hr. OSHA, PA Home Builders Association, and PACMA Certification.


Both mechanical and electronic engineering are combined to form this vast program, Mechatronics. Students gain knowledge on smart systems and software in a variety of different forms. Mathematics and science are involved in this course while robotics is a key part. Students have to ability to learn how to operate, construct, and design robots through Bots IQ and Battle Bots. This program can give leeway to careers as electro-mechanical technicians, robotic engineers, mechanical engineering technicians, field technicians, electrical and electronics repairers, commercial electrical and electronic engineering technicians. Certifications include; Electronics Technicians Association (ETA), Certified Electronics Technician (CET), Student Electronics Technician (SET), National Occupational Competency, and Testing Institute (NOCTI).


Plumbing is a program that consists of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Hardworking individuals are needed to take on manual labor tasks involved within the program. Students can learn how to repair and install piping and plumbing fixtures. PA Home Builders Association and Refrigerant Recovery Certification (EPA 608) are two different possibilities for students to take with them to pursue future careers.

Welding Technology

Welding is a program offered at EWCTC that touches base on the importance of infrastructure to our society.  Metal working is crucial in building and auto construction as well as machinery and appliances. Students can adopt a sense of dexterity, math, precision, and tolerance to bright light. Welders can work independently and in collaboration, which gives them the ability to be creative and learn from others in the process. American Welding Society D1. 1. Welding Certification is gained through the process of this course.


National Tech Honor Society

Students are highlighted and given opportunities for scholarships and community service through National Tech Honor Society. Every year, junior and senior students are selected based on the eligibility criteria of having a 3.0 or higher GPA overall, 3.5 or higher in their specific technical program, and a teacher recommendation.

Each year, two delegates and eight officers are chosen and work as a team to maintain an facilitate the flow of the society while members actively participate.

This is the thirteenth year of enacting the honor society at EWCTC. NTHS has been accumulating more and more students each year with about 100 students involved already, the highest they’ve ever had. Scholarships are also in full swing. The Society is responsible for $10,000 worth of them. In order to obtain more scholarship money, members work towards a scholarship fundraiser which is in April this year.

Not only does NTHS give students a head start on career and post-secondary expenses, it gives more chances to make the community better.

Mrs. Kaecher, guidance counselor of EWCTC and the advisor for NTHS, expressed the opportunity the program gives members. “It gives them the opportunity for team building, taking on leadership roles, and it’s a way for them to give back to the community,” said Kaecher. One of their service projects include a widely successful community spaghetti dinner that rings in roughly $4,000 a year for different causes.  This year’s was in support of a cancer treatment center.

Some other service acts are leadership based, including an ambassadors program for elementary school kids and decorating nursing homes for the holidays. “I think the service projects are extremely important for the kids,” said Kaecher with conviction.

Overall, EWCTC offers National Tech Honor Society to motivated, ambitious, and diligent students that want to further their careers outside of Tech. “There’s a lot of great opportunities when students are involved with this society”, Kaecher noted.


SkillsUSA is a nationwide organization in which students in middle school, high school, and college who are studying a trade, technical, or skilled occupation are eligible to participate.  The program is a collaboration of students, teachers, and industry working as a team to maintain and keep the workforce strong. Since 1965, the association has served more than 13.5 million members.  The program is organized into over 19,000 chapters locally as well as 52 state and territorial associations. SkillsUSA is highly supported by businesses, industry, and labor organizations through financial aid, non-monetary contributions, and members of these organizations participate in SkillsUSA events.  Technical skills grounded in academics, personal skills, and workplace skills make up the SkillsUSA framework, which are the foundation to a successful career path.

This year is the second year EWCTC has been active in the program.  There are currently 128 members in SkillsUSA at EWCTC. “I’ve been into photography for a while, and going to EWCTC has really upped my skills,” said Digital Media Technology student Hannah Noel.  “I’ve gotten to be one of the top in my class and through in-house competitions, I found SkillsUSA.”

17 members are headed to states this year, which includes 15 competitors and two delegates.  “It has definitely been a growing experience,” said Special Populations Coordinator Dane Zimmer.  “We are hopeful with more competitors this year that we are able to send more to Louisville, Kentucky for Nationals.”  At the national level, SkillsUSA provides all the supplies needed to compete and the members get to keep all of the supplies even if they do not win.

Local chapters hold full work programs and students a part of them have the opportunity to go to district or state conferences.  Any student that attends a career and technology center is able to compete. The SkillsUSA Championship held in June each year is a large competition in which 100 occupational and leadership skill areas are put to the test and thousands of students attend.  “What I like most about competing is that it gives me a chance to sharpen my skills on the fly,” said Noel. “It has also given me the chance to make connections with other career and technology center students in my field and have some good networking too.” By being a member, students are able to apply for scholarships, which is a great incentive for those planning to continue schooling upon leaving EWCTC.

Members have the ability to participate in community service, skill competitions, fundraising, and social/recreational activities such as going to the Nutcracker together and this year, a trip to Washington D.C. in May.  SkillsUSA brings together students with similar trade interests as well as allowing them to adapt the skills needed to be successful in the workplace.

Among the 17 SkillsUSA members going to states this year to compete,  Greater Latrobe is proud to be sending the following students:

  • Michael Guidos (Computer Engineering Technology)- Information Technology Services
  • Luke Noel (Machine Tool Technology)- Precision Machining
  • Zane Demagone & Cole Cerny (Computer Engineering Technology)- Cybersecurity (team)
  • Brooklyn Ferry (Digital Media Technology)- Digital Cinema
  • Hannah Noel (Digital Media Technology)- Photography
  • Braelyn Henry (Digital Media Technology)- Photography