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Higganum Student Joins Clinton Firm as First WBL Employee

Submitted by Jennifer Sargent

(February 26, 2023) — Celebrating Career and Technical Education Month, Callinan Construction of Clinton has welcomed Jake Cook of Higganum as its first Vinal Tech Work- Based Learning (WBL) student. Cook is a junior at Vinal and a student in the carpentry program. He joined Callinan in early February, putting many of the skills and techniques he has acquired at Vinal to the ultimate test, working on official residential construction projects as a member of the CC team. He works side-by-side with Callinan’s highly skilled craftsmen, applying hands-on techniques and processes while conforming to rigid safety protocols. Like other employees, Cook has an official work email address and he is on the payroll. It is Callinan’s hope that he will continue with the company over the summer months and throughout his senior year.

Work-Based Learning is a part of the Vinal Technical High School Student Workforce program. WBL allows a student to work for an employer during their trade instructional time. Students not only receive credit toward their career technology, but also get paid. WBL is offered as a way for students to gain real-world experience, work in teams, solve problems and meet employer expectations. Through partnerships with local companies, like Callinan Construction, students gain hands-on career development experiences that will help them through the transition from school to work and give them an advantage in the competitive workforce.

Above Photo provided by Callinan Construction: Left to right, Callinan Foreman Gary Needham, Jake Cook, and Nick Ogorzalek, Dean of Students at Vinal Technical High School

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