Ulster BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways Academy Celebrates Completion Ceremony for the Class of 2024

Ulster BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways Academy Celebrates Completion Ceremony for the Class of 2024

The Ulster BOCES Hudson Valley Pathways Academy (HVPA) marked a significant milestone on May 30, staging a Completion Celebration for 10 young scholars who had successfully completed six years of rigorous academic and professional training at HVPA and SUNY Ulster. The event was hosted by one of HVPA’s industry partners, the Highland-based Selux Corporation.

The ceremony, which was planned and emceed by current HVPA young scholars Tucker Chase, Natalie Winrow, and Jacob Ramatour, honored the following HVPA graduates: William Bernzott, Travis Boice, Heidy Cardenas-Ruballos, Marco Catania, Jarod Ferran, Sage Kummer, Juan Neri-Ramos, Brandon Pendell, Nathan Townsend-Steigler, and Jacob White.

Ulster BOCES HVPA fosters many strong industry-academic partnerships to help young scholars be career-ready upon their completion of the program. For example, this year the Selux Corporation, which designs and manufactures cutting-edge, energy-efficient lighting for both indoor and outdoor spaces, hired four young scholars who had previously interned there through the HVPA program.

The ceremony also honored Jim Ferraro, vice president of ELNA Magnetics, with the Industry Partner of the Year Award. ELNA Magnetics is a manufacturer and distributor of magnetic components. Ferraro expressed his appreciation for the HVPA program, stating, “I have had the pleasure of being a part of this HVPA program since its inception, eight or nine years ago. I have taken a more hands-on approach in the last four or five years, with the creation of the steering committee, and watched as the students and educators have grown this program. What other graduation ceremony have you been to that is run by the students? Kudos to everyone that pulled this together. One of the things that was inspirational to me from the beginning was the motto, ‘What does private industry need to hire employees?’” he said. “Over the years, not only has that motto continued with the educators, but it has been gaining more traction. In my opinion, workforce development in our area has to start with the students. This should be a conduit to every other education or employment opportunity in the area. Our goal is to maintain or even grow our workforce, and this school gives us the opportunity to do that!”

Ferraro’s award recognized his outstanding contributions and unwavering support for the HVPA initiative, which helps bridge the gap between education and industry needs.

"The success of our graduates is a testament to the power of collaboration between education and industry," said Dr. Jonah Schenker, District Superintendent of Ulster BOCES. "Our partnership with the Selux Corporation and other local businesses provides our students with invaluable hands-on experience and professional development opportunities."

The Selux Corporation’s commitment to fostering young talent and innovation is evident through its ongoing support and collaboration with HVPA. "We are proud to be part of a program that not only educates, but also empowers the next generation of professionals," said Eric Lannon, vice-president of manufacturing at the Selux Corporation. "These young graduates have demonstrated exceptional dedication and skill, and we look forward to seeing their continued success in the industry." 

The Completion Celebration marked not only the end of the graduates' academic journey, but also the beginning of their professional careers. Each graduate is leaving with a solid foundation of skills and experiences, ready to contribute to the workforce and their communities.

After the ceremony, guests were invited to enjoy a tour of the Selux offices and manufacturing facilities.

For more information about the Hudson Valley Pathways Academy and its programs, please visit  ulsterboces.org/HVPA.

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