TEC 2000 Technology Education Lab Officially Opens at Passaic County Technical Institute With a Gala Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Training in Telecommunications Technology With the Help of Bell Atlantic
March 2, 1998
Passaic County students and adults now have increased access to
training in telecommunications technology. A gathering of top
executives from Bell Atlantic, Freeholders from Passaic County,
representatives of various state, regional and county agencies,
members of the administration, faculty, staff and students of Passaic
County Technical Institute (PCTI) and a dog named "Spike" all
celebrated the recent opening of the "TEC 2000 Telecommunications
Lab." The new lab is a part of PCTI high school -- created with the
assistance of Bell Atlantic -- and "Spike" is the school's living
English Bulldog mascot.
In September of 1997 PCTI entered into a partnership with Bell
Atlantic to create a telecommunications training program at the
school. PCTI established a state-of-the-art telecommunications lab
for training individuals in the design and installation of voice,
video and data systems. Students in the program utilize modern
equipment to learn telephone installation, repair and troubleshooting
with the goal of eventual employment in New Jersey's
telecommunications industry. Diana C. Lobosco, Chief School
Administrator of PCTI said, "Our mission is to open minds to new
ideas, open individuals to new experiences and to open doors to new
opportunities for the future. This growing venture into
telecommunications brings the community together to help others
explore new possibilities for themselves."
"Advances in telecommunications technology are stimulating the
economy and changing the way we communicate at work and home," said
Len J. Lauer, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic-New Jersey." This
dynamic field offers challenging career opportunities for people with
the right skills. Through TEC 2000, Passaic County and Bell Atlantic
will provide the high-tech training needed to build the Information
Superhighway of the 21st century."
A unique feature of the telecommunications program is the cooperative
agreement with the Passaic County Workforce Investment Board. In
addition to high school students, the program also serves as a
training ground for unemployed adults recommended through the Passaic
County Workforce Development Center. The telecommunications course is
an ideal program for those adults who are underemployed or for those
seeking to retrain for more gainful employment.
At present, 11 secondary students are enrolled in the program. In
January, three adults completed four months of training and are now
ready to embark on their careers.
In fact, the program has been so successful that the school opened an
evening telecommunications class in early February to accommodate
individuals who are unable to take the course during the day. Twelve
adults are presently enrolled in that class.
Housed on the campus of Passaic County Technical Institute, the
TEC 2000 lab is a true state-of-the-art facility. The lab is equipped
with a mock two-story house intended to simulate real world conditions
that students are likely to find on the job. Additionally, the lab
has four fifteen-foot utility poles - donated and installed by Bell
Atlantic - that students must climb to perform installation and repair
A recent retiree with 33 years of experience in the
telecommunications industry, instructor Henry Hanzo operates his class
as an operating telephone company. Students are assigned management,
labor and union roles. The eleven students who comprise the class
learn to work in teams and as individuals. Students are given work
orders and must perform all the typical jobs that actual employees
would be required to perform in the field. Of course, none of this
comes easily. Hanzo has trained his crew to recognize problems and
devise cost-effective solutions.
Next year the school will expand the program further by opening
two sections. High school students interested in careers in
telecommunications will be required to take a year of electronics
before enrolling in the program.