Career and Technology Center Spotlight – Monroe Career and Technical Institute

The instructors, administrators, and members of the Pocono Builders Association are determined to help grow the workforce through their hard work with the Monroe Career & Technical Institute.

The CTI is located in northeastern Pennsylvania in Bartonsville. Currently there are five programs that take part in the PBA Endorsed Program – Carpentry, Electrical, HVAC, Masonry, and Plumbing. During the current school year, those programs are training nearly 150 students.

Frank Zaso, Supervisor of Curriculum Development, says that the training educates all students in their trade areas and prepares them for entry-level positions in the workforce.

“All of our students thrive for new knowledge and opportunities to excel in their chosen field of study,” Zaso said. “Students are NEVER held back and are always encouraged to proceed and succeed.”

Zaso, along with Patrick McHale (Carpentry Instructor), Mark Lippincott (HVAC/Plumbing Instructor), Jesse Wummer (Masonry Instructor), and Mike Witner (Electrical Instructor), realize the shortages in the trade industry. Retirements and COVID continue to place a strain on the economy.

Therefore, it is vital that everyone supports their local program and encourages students to look into the possibility of a career in the field. Programs like those offered at Monroe CTI provide the necessary training for skills to meet the demands in trade areas.

All that preparation is taking notice by employers in the area.

Chris Bowers, owner of Huffman Electric in Marshalls Creek – and a member of the Pocono Builders Association and PBA, has hired a graduate of the Monroe CTI. Bowers’ company provides many different types of services for residential customers including wiring new houses, installing services, as well as working on existing houses and doing service calls.

“The new hire started having very good knowledge of the field and a skill set,” said Bowers. “The first day he started he was completely hands-on where others may not may not be at the same level.”

Asked if he saw the value from the Monroe CTI education, Bowers said that if they spend their time wisely at MCTI, they will have the ability to get right to work the first day they start.

“They leave Monroe CTI with the basic mechanical skills and fundamentals needed for the job because of all the hands-on work that they do during their time there,” he added.

Of course, the partnership and cooperation with the Pocono Builders Association and their members is invaluable.

“The local provides us with informational and educational events that may assist students in their endeavor to succeed,” Zaso said.

Joan Molloy, Executive Officer of the Pocono Builders Association, and their members are working hard to support the school – their NAHB Student Chapter. Besides their ongoing support, the local is in the early stages of planning an event in the fall to help support students looking for a career in the industry.

Zaso notes that the PBS Endorsed Trade Program also plays a big role in the education. The Monroe CTI participation in the program confirms compliance of industry standards in the Endorsed Trade Program by relying on the input and knowledge of PBA members who are masters in their trade.

So where does the Monroe Career & Technical Institute see itself in the next few years? According to Zaso, the CTI will continue to improve the technology in the programs to meet the ever-changing needs in a high-tech industry.

And what role will the Endorsed Trade Program continue to play? The program continues to set standards for workers in the industry. While the Monroe CTI has already exceeded those standards for students, it is determined to meet the new standards that will be required in this changing home building industry.

(Photos courtesy of Monroe Career & Technical Institute. Photos are of students competing at the SkillsUSA District Competition.)

Monroe Career & Technical Institute
194 Laurel Lake Road
Bartonsville, PA 18321

Why should PBA members get involved in their local CTC programs?

When the home building industry joins forces with the school and instructor it takes the program to a different level. Professionals have so much to offer these students – expertise in specific fields. Make a big deal about it, celebrate that student, you will eventually reap the rewards of doing so.

Some examples of how to participate include:

  • Take on a student in a CO-OP program and give them an education on a real jobsite, no matter how well-intentioned an instructor is, that experience can’t be replicated in a classroom/shop setting.
  • Take time to explain what you are doing, and why you are doing it the way you are.
  • Join an Occupational Advisory Committee and help guide your local program to fit the needs of our industry.
  • Local HBAs should invite local students to your association’s events.
  • Give a scholarship to a student going to college, or a toolbox filled with tools to a student going directly into the workforce.
  • Keep the instructor up to date on the latest and greatest tools, equipment, and materials.

If you are looking to support the future of the home building industry – as well as your company – please consider donating to the Pennsylvania Foundation for Housing. All proceeds go directly to the PBA Endorsed Trade Program. For more information, click HERE.