ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Capital Region Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) is pairing up with local high schools to prepare students for careers in the post-pandemic healthcare workforce. More than 100 high school students are enrolled in the Career and Technical Education Center’s Two-Year Sequence of Health Careers program this school year and 18 are enrolled in the Sterile Processing Technician program.

“We are pleased to continue to see such strong enrollment in these programs which are crucial in preparing students for careers in our hospitals and healthcare facilities,” said Paula Negri, who oversees the health careers offerings for Capital Region BOCES.

Students in the two-year sequence of Health Careers programs are preparing to earn certifications as a nurse assistant, home health aide and personal care assistants, and when they graduate have the opportunity to launch careers in those fields. Students enrolled in either of the two programs are interested in helping others.

“Most of my family is involved in nursing. My dad, my mother, my aunts. It’s just something I need to do to – to help others,” said Christopher Spellen, who attends the Two-Year Sequence of Heath Careers program from Schenectady.

The New York State Legislature created BOCES in 1948, to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts within the state. According to the Capital Region BOCES website, 94% of enrolled seniors in career and technical education programs graduate.