Questar III BOCES celebrates Career and Technical Education Month®, an opportunity to showcase our students, while also recognizing the importance of our programs to the region and economy.

New York State is experiencing a skills gap. While 49% of New York jobs require skilled training – more education than high school, but less than a 4-year degree – only 37% of New Yorkers are trained at this level. Students enrolled in our CTE programs are learning the skills they need to help bridge this gap, while setting themselves up for successful careers in high-demand fields.

Be sure to follow us Facebook, Instagram, X, YouTube, and LinkedIn to hear more about our programs and stories like Jacob’s below.

Questar III BOCES HVAC student James Bolognino is a senior at Robert H. Gibson Technical School from Hoosic Valley Central School District. James had familial influence in joining the program after his cousin attended a similar college program. His cousin gave him insight into the career, which helped James make his decision.

The Questar III HVAC program, available in both Troy and Hudson, prepares students for a career in the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Green Technologies fields. Students participate in classroom instruction and project-based learning. From design, installation, and repair of HVAC systems, to emerging technologies including solar and geothermal, this program gives students the basic skills to enter the HVAC field or continue their education with an underlying foundation within the field.

While coming to a CTE school to learn a new trade can be very exciting, some students are also nervous about entering a brand-new school, only knowing a few people from their home district. Like many students, James had a positive experience.

“I was surprised at how many new friends I made,” said James. “I really like the guys that I work with, and being able to work hands-on too is a lot of fun.”

During their 2 -year program, HVAC students take Math and Science in 11th grade, and English in 12th grade. Unlike a traditional high school experience with these subjects, they are tailored to the CTE program. For example, James shared that in math, one lesson that stood out was focused on fractions and measurements while measuring a pipe – something important in the HVAC trade.

Students also get to network with industry professionals. From guest speakers to field trips to internships, students are exposed to a wide array of businesses within their industry.

“It’s great having so many businesses come in. It allows us to see what’s out there for work, and you get an inside look as to what’s going on in their workplace. I also took part in a one week internship at UAlbany and got to see all around the campus.”

James is gearing up for graduation a few short months away. He plans to attend the HVAC program at HVCC in the fall, and potentially work for an HVAC company while in college. Someday, James hopes to own his own HVAC business and take plenty of fishing trips in the Caribbean.

Share This