The Gloversville Enlarged School District and the Greater Johnstown School District awarded a $3 million grant to offer a new PTECH program by the state Education Department.

GLOVERSVILLE — The Gloversville Enlarged School District and Greater Johnstown School District have been awarded a $3 million grant to offer a new Pathways in Technology Early College High School by the New York state Education Department.

The Johnstown and Gloversville school districts will partner with the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES, Fulton Montgomery Community College, the Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce and local businesses to launch the new Foothills PTECH beginning in fall 2018, according to a press release issued Friday.

Foothills PTECH will be open by application to 80 incoming freshman from the two districts, providing students the opportunity to earn their high school diploma and associate degree simultaneously at no cost to their families and be considered for jobs with partner businesses when they graduate.

The new Foothills PTECH will offer two areas of study at two locations. The Academy of Health and Medical Sciences located in the former Meco Elementary School will focus on the medical arts and sciences, concentrating on laboratory, clinical and patient technician career paths.

The Academy of Computer Science and Game Arts located in the newly-renovated computer and video gaming lab and classrooms in Johnstown High School will focus on the digital gaming industry, concentrating on computer science, web development, animation and related business and marketing fields.

“Foothills PTECH is a remarkable educational opportunity for our students and families,” GESD Interim Superintendent Robert DeLilli said in a prepared statement. “Regional job growth continues in both of these fields, and there is tremendous room for continued employment and career growth.”

Participating students will be able to earn one of the following associate degrees; health studies, medical administrative assistant, web and mobile applications development, digital media technology and design, computer information systems, business administration and business marketing.

“At Foothills PTECH, our students will be supported by their teachers in both their high school and college classes,” GJSD Superintendent Patricia Kilburn said in a prepared statement. “This approach increases the chances for each child’s success, as well as their chances to launch their futures, as college educated and employed young adults.”

Gloversville and Johnstown students participating in either program will still be enrolled as students in their respective districts with the opportunity to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities offered at their home high schools.

While Foothills PTECH will be closed to students outside of GESD and GJSD, students from both districts will still be eligible to apply to attend other PTECH programs in the region.

The Foothills program will be the third PTECH to launch in the HFM region. The first class of HFM PTECH students will graduate in June, with many on track to receive both their high school diploma and associate degree.

“Expanding the use of the successful PTECH model in our component school districts will transform the educational landscape in our area,” HFM BOCES District Superintendent Patrick Michel said in prepared statement. “In addition to providing more opportunities for students, PTECH is an economic and workforce development initiative that benefits our entire region. We can no longer separate our high schools from our colleges and employers.”

“The expansion of PTECH programs will help us prepare a competent, modern workforce to supply our regional businesses and industries and attract new employers to our area. I’d like to thank the governor and the state Department of Education for embracing this program for our children,” Michel said.

By Kerry Minor

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