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Ten McCann Machine Tech Students Receive Level 2 Certification
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
04:24PM / Saturday, April 08, 2017
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Tristen Carson, Nathan Sartori, Jacob Bartlett, Dean Laprise, Devon Griswold, Bradley Odell, Brenden Piaggi, Madison Gigliotti, William Kipp and Devin Briggs were honored for their certification achievement.

Principal Justin Kratz addresses the assembly in the school library.

Superintendent James Brosnan praised the students' efforts.


NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Ten McCann Technical School students were recognized on Thursday for achieving Level 2 certification, the highest available, in their machine tech studies. 
 
Administration, teachers and parents attended a special presentation in the McCann library to acknowledge the success of the juniors and seniors who after scoring highly on the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Innovation Collaborative, or "MACWIC," exam, received a certification proving that they are ready for the workforce.
 
"When we talk about what makes McCann unique and what we have to offer to our students one of the things we really try to focus on as a school is the shop credentials and certification," Principal Justin Kratz said. "So when a student graduates from McCann they take with them a certificate … that will undoubtedly help them secure solid manufacturing job after graduation."
 
Kratz explained that MACWIC was formed six years ago when a group of manufacturing companies throughout Massachusetts wanted to help create a skilled workforce. In the next decade, more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs are expected to open up and employers feared they would not be able to fill these positions. 
 
So the group got involved with educational institutions and 142 business are now affiliated with the certification.
 
Kratz said there are actually five levels in MACWIC. Levels beyond 2 are not yet available to high school students. Although students would normally receive higher level accreditation in college and beyond high school, McCann students have already surpassed the Level 3 benchmarks.   
 
McCann teacher Scott Botto said students are immersed in MACWIC frameworks upon entering the program. He said McCann students keep up with the high standards. 
 
"To teach these guys at the level they are at right now is not easy … we are teaching them something they get after college," Botto said. "We are taking a 14-year-old kid and trying to get them to figure out what an adult does every day of the week and they are expected to hold it at a specific standard."
 
Kratz said the average test score for Level 1 students is 94 and the average score for Level 2 is 86. He said he expects this to be above the state average.
 
He said that by sophomore year, all machine tech students are at Level 1.
 
"It's really amazing seeing these kids growing up in a shop and using this incredibly expensive equipment. The other day I stopped at the shop and asked if I could do something with one of the machines and they said I wasn't ready for it," Kratz joked. "They wouldn't let me touch the machine and rightly so — its high-level stuff and we are incredibly proud of you."  
 
Certificate recipients are Tristen Carson, Nathan Sartori, Jacob Bartlett, Dean Laprise, Devon Griswold, Bradley Odell, Brenden Piaggi, Madison Gigliotti, William Kipp and Devin Briggs.
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