Manteca Unified’s Be.tech program is on the move.
Tonight, the district’s charter high school, be.tech, is having its first bi-annual Advisory Board dinner. Aptly demonstrating the success thus far of this vocational program is the role that one of vocational program’s current academies is playing at the board’s dinner events — the Culinary Arts. Andrew Griggs and his students are catering the dinner, something that the class has done numerous times since it opened six years ago at the launching of be.tech academy.
The advisory board’s role, as explained by Principal Carey Simoni, is “to help advise be.tech with the specific technical and soft skills the industry is looking for as well as to create personal connections for student internships and provide opportunities to enhance student learning.”
The success story of be.tech, to date, is manifested by numbers in the latest tally provided by Simoni, with total number of graduates since 2012 now reaching nearly 200.
First, the vocational programs now available to high school students who go this route earning two diplomas, and not just one, when they graduate. There four that are now offered and their respective current enrollments: Culinary Arts (be.cuisine, 40), First Responders (be.first, 30), Industrials (be.industrial, 30), and Computer and Game Design (be.next, 35).
Be.tech’s snapshot by numbers show the following success picture as well.
uEnrollment totals by grade: 27 in ninth grade, 25 in tenth grade, 24 in eleventh grade, and 59 in twelfth grade. A student has to be in the ninth grade to enroll in any of the be.tech classes available. There is no tuition fee required since this is a charter school.
uBe.tech graduates since the academy opened: 2016-2017: includes Independent Study (IS) and 5th year and did not include be.next seniors — 30; 2015-2016: graduates include IS and 5th and be.Ourguest and be.next — 96; 2014-2015 — 13; 2013-2014 - 22.
uTotal number of graduates over the past four years (as of 2017) — 161.
uEmployment figures show the following: approximately 52 graduate students are working full time; five students are in the military; 38 students are going to school full- and part-time; and, 18 students are working part-time. These students are now gainfully employed as chefs, dietitians, heavy-equipment operators, operating engineers, carpenter union members, millwrights, EMTs, certified nursing assistants, autobody and repair, landscape workers and workers in heat-and-air jobs. They have found employment at Home Depot, Tesla, Amazon, and Delta A/C, among businesses where they found work.
“Most of our students go to work within their field. For example we have students who go into the welding industry either (in) private or in the union, attending nursing school, culinary school, EMT school and paramedic program,” Simoni said.
After graduating from be.tech, some students have attended Azusa Pacific University, University of the Pacific, Chico State, Sacramento City College, Delta College, Modesto Junior College, Los Positas College, Johnson and Wales University, New England Culinary Institute, Carrington College Vet Tech, Ceres Adult School EMT program, and the military,” added Simoni.
Among those attending the “partnership advisory dinner” are industry community members including Sondra Berchtold of Fagundes Meats and Catering, Anthony Risso for Industrial Arts Academy, Manteca Police, and the Lathrop-Manteca Fire District.