Burgard High School Advanced Manufacturing Program
A $3.2 million Buffalo Billion investment is propelling Burgard High School to become a pipeline for students interested in careers in advanced manufacturing. The investment has created an early/middle college program where students attend college level courses during high school, ultimately obtaining an Associate’s degree from Alfred State College after completion of their 13th year of schooling. The Burgard program will also ultimately serve as a feeding facility for the Western New York Workforce Training Center, to be built as part of the nearby Northland Corridor Redevelopment Project.
Alfred State College offers the following programs at the school:
- Machine Tool Technology
- Welding Technology
- Auto Technology
In Fall 2016, the Burgard facility was highlighted as part of familiarization tours by area employers and local manufacturing associations and labor organizations, and received highly positive feedback on its ability to provide real-world experiences to the next generation of the region’s skilled industry workforce.
In addition, as one of several planned feeder institution for the Western New York Workforce Training Center, Alfred and Burgard staff are working closely with the recently-selected future Operator of the Center to coordinate on possible students that would help form the inaugural class at the Center.
The program launched in Fall 2014 with its first freshman class and since then, Buffalo Public Schools and Alfred have implemented about $1.5 million in capital improvements with Buffalo Billion funding for the school’s welding, machining and auto labs/shops, the last involving a full new additional welding lab, which was completed in fall of 2017. Two classes have now graduated from the program (2018 and 2019); all have continued to college, with ten students attending Northland Workforce Training Center.
Tracking of student performance to date has confirmed that Burgard Advanced Manufacturing Program students have exhibited higher rates of attendance and graduation; registered fewer absences and disciplinary problems; and received higher grade point averages than other students at Burgard High School or averages of all Buffalo Public School high school students in general. Recruitment efforts and more formalized coordination with Northland Workforce Training Center activities are continuing.
Burgard High School – in partnership with Alfred State College, Say Yes Buffalo and Dream It Do It Western NY – is becoming a career hub for advanced manufacturing with training for high school students in various trades.