Since opening the doors of its High School in the 1990s, Cape May Technical School has been offering their students unique opportunities to gain real-world professional experience.  As students work towards their High School Diploma, they also get vocational training as part of the school's daily curriculum. Starting with the 2023-24 School Year, Seniors will be given new opportunities for real-world professional experiences with a new program at Cape May Tech High School.

Cape May Tech High School, located in Cape May Court House, has agreed to start a pilot program with the Cape May County Government to provide opportunities for students to gain experience in County Departments.  The program will give High School Seniors the opportunity to supplement their Technical/Vocational Education with real-world experiences in similar professional areas within the County Government.

Similar to a College Internship, these Students will be asked to perform tasks as instructed by Cape May County Personnel so the High School Seniors can learn about the application of the skills they learn as part of their Technical Education Program.  This pilot program is being offered during Cape May Tech High School’s academic year in conjunction with their class schedule.  Over the next few weeks, county administrators from various departments will meet with Senior High School Students about the opportunities afforded by this program.  Then the students who are interested will submit a letter of interest to the School’s Work-Based Learning Coordinator, John Longinetti.

This structure is very similar to the Cape May Tech Exploratory Program in which all new students (incoming Freshmen and transferring Sophomores) spend their first year in High School getting first-hand experience in all the different Vocational and Technical Educational Programs at the school.  In the final months of that school year, the students will select the Tech Programs they are interested in the most and then they interview with the teachers of those programs.  Finally, the student will be selected to enter the Vocational/Technical Education Program the next school year and that class will be a staple of their class schedule for the rest of their time in High School.

I spoke with Kristen Schaffer, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Cape May County Technical School District, about this unique Pilot Program that will open new opportunities to High School Seniors:

"Cape May Tech and the County of Cape May are excited for this pilot program and look forward to working in partnership. Providing students opportunities in the county in which they reside is vital not only for their future, but also for the continued stability of the county’s workforce. Hands-on experiences gives students opportunities to improve not only on their technical skills, but also utilize in practice the soft skills needed to be successful in life."

Cape May County Technical High School is located inside Crest Haven Complex, whose primary entrance is off Garden State Parkway Exit 11.  The Complex in Cape May Court House is the physical location of the many different County Government Offices including the Department of Health, the Prosecutor's Office, the County Animal Shelter, the Police Academy, and the Cape May County Special Services School District.  For more information about Cape May County Technical High School, you can visit their website here.

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