For the 2013-2014 school year, a total of 720 students enrolled in the YES Northeast Certificate Program class at their local high school. One of those students was a Pottsville student named Brandon Kreiger. Not unlike many of the youths enrolled in the program, he wanted to know what the workforce had in store for him.
“I took the class because I wanted to be better prepared for the workforce and know what I’m in for when I get out there,” said Kreiger. “It was Mrs. Delenick that told me I should take it. She definitely helped me more than any other teacher my senior year.”
Pottsville Area High School’s YES teacher, Pam Delenick, taught Brandon and the rest of her YES class about the many skills it takes to succeed in today’s workplace. Communications, health & safety, personal development, quality & technology, and teamwork were all topics covered in the curriculum. These skills were reiterated on the four tours that her class took at local facilities and were also the focus of discussion during presentations from classroom speakers who passed along their expertise.
For Brandon, the most important topic was the safety module within the program that covers everything from basic OSHA guidelines to ergonomics and wellness.
“The part that helped me most was the safety module,” said Kreiger. “At Cardinals Systems, they strictly enforce OSHA guidelines, so learning that in the classroom really helped in my transition to the workplace.”
Also helpful was the interview portion of the program, which quickly came into use just one day after his graduation when the Council coordinated an interview for him with longtime YES supporter, Cardinal Systems, Inc. in Schuylkill Haven.
“The interviewing portion also helped a lot in getting me in here,” he continued. “The Council helped me get an interview here and as soon as I walked in they could tell that I was a YES graduate based on how I dressed and carried myself.”
He was hired in a position that cut small parts, but after showing initiative, was given more responsibility and given a promotion. He’s currently is a sheer operator and a forklift driver.
It’s no surprise to hear how well Brandon is doing, given all the hard work he put into earning his YES Certificate, an accomplishment that 300 other local students accomplished. To receive that certificate, he had to earn his high school diploma, achieve a passing score on the Test of Adult Basic Education and Wonderlic Cognitive Ability tests, successfully pass a six panel drug screen, demonstrate an attendance of 95% or better and complete the 120-hour YES Northeast Curriculum.
With September comes the start of the new school year and more stories like Brandon’s will begin in local classrooms. The Council is constantly looking for more businesses to sign on to the program to offer tours, provide classroom speakers and preferred interviewing. If your business would like to be involved in the program, please call the Council office at 570-622-0940.