PLAINS TWP. – Preliminary news from a state audit is very good for the Wilkes-Barre Career and Technical Center, the school’s joint operating committee learned Monday.
Committee President Jim Height said he attended the audit’s exit meeting. He commended the school’s staff and said Pennsylvania Department of Education auditors praised the school for several things, most notably the condition of the building.
“They said for a building this age, it’s very well kept,” Height said, adding that the auditors credited the school’s four member districts and the board for keeping up the school.
School administrator Frank Majikes said that a team of 10 auditors performed the review, which is done every five years. While the auditors indicated there would be suggestions for improvements when the full written report comes out in a month, Majikes said auditors were also impressed with the cooperation between the administrators of the member districts and the tech school and with the rapport the school has with the community.
“They liked the way we work with the community for co-op placements for the kids to get on-the-job training,” Majikes said.
The committee also heard from nursing program director Mary Beth Pacuska, who thanked the board and administration for support for an expanded health career curriculum. Pacuska said the school is in the planning stages of adding certificate programs and other classes leading to careers in health care.
“In today’s economic climate and with an increased need for health care professionals, we think this would be beneficial to the school and the community,” she said.
“You know students in these programs are going to have good jobs with good benefits and security,” she said, “and that’s what people want.”
Pacuska said feasibility studies are under way and area health care providers are being consulted to determine what classes might be offered, hopefully within a year.
The classes would be in addition to the school’s successful nursing program, which has 118 students enrolled now and 71 more starting in March.