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Technical career training vital to Baltimore’s future | READER COMMENTARY

Seventh graders Samantha Spears, in blue, and Valerie Trujilllo take an assessment test in Kristen Ballestero's class at Palm Beach Maritime Academy, a charter school in Lantana, Fla. Sept. 6, 2019.
Seventh graders Samantha Spears, in blue, and Valerie Trujilllo take an assessment test in Kristen Ballestero's class at Palm Beach Maritime Academy, a charter school in Lantana, Fla. Sept. 6, 2019. (Amy Beth Bennett / South Florida Sun Sentinel)

The Baltimore Sun ran a good article on how the Kirwan Commission is promoting both college prep and tech prep (“Maryland schools have long overlooked career training in favor of college. An education overhaul would change that,” Jan. 30).

There is a little known program at New Area Academy in Cherry Hill called Trans Tech that is a one of a kind in all of Maryland. It started as a strictly Maritime program and has been evolving to include all forms of transportation and logistics. As a thriving port city, Baltimore is the perfect place for this curriculum. They have partnered with the Coast Guard, the Baltimore Port Alliance and others to provide internships and job training that helps get kids good paying jobs right out of high school. There is a similar program in New York City with a more robust program and I have not been able to understand why the school system here and some of the potential business, non-profit and government partners have not done more to boost the Trans Tech program and help more Baltimore students reap the benefits.

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There are some very dedicated people who have worked for and with Trans Tech for years, but it seems they have been ignored or not understood by some people in authority who could make a difference and help make Trans Tech a model program of the sort outlined in your excellent article. Baltimore’s program could be as good or even better than the New York model.

The late Helen Bentley and Elijah Cummings both saw the promise of this concept and worked to try and make it succeed. Trans Tech may need some new blood in Congress, the State House and City Hall to take a look and advocate.

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Mike Wicklein, Baltimore

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