7he proposal calls for handson labs, ontheMobtraining and
an exploratory “wheel” where students could learn about
various trades to help determine what they want to study.
Somerset hopes to open Somerset Career Academy by the
fall or date, but that will depend on whether the
St. Lucie County School Board approves an application to
operate a charter school there. If the application is denied,
Somerset can appeal to the state, according to &arvelli.
It would be tuitionfree, funded by the state and accept all
St. /ucie &ounty students, with a preference expressed by the
city council for seating 3ort St. /ucie students first.
%esides graduating with a high school diploma, students
could become certified in a number of trades, such as electricity,
carpentry, plumbing and machinery maintenance.
Somerset $cademy Inc., founded in , serves nearly
, students in )lorida, 1evada, 7exas and the &anary
$ sister school, the &ity of +ialeah Educational $cademy
or &2+E$, has a highly successful record in training for the
trades, 5ains says. It boasted a . percent graduation rate in
. %ecause of its success, she featured the +ialeah school
in her presentation at the community workshop.
“&2+E$ is a uniTue academy model charter school that
prepares students for the workforce through its career pathways
program,” says its principal, &arlos 2. $lvare.
7he +ialeah school offers career programs in criminal
Mustice and forensic science, first responder, firefighting, law
and legal studies, mass communications and early childhood
education certifications, $lvare says. 7he school also offers
advanced placement subMects and dual enrollment with several
Students are taught by industry leaders in their respective
courses. )or example, certified firefighters oversee and provide
instruction in the firefighting academy. Students have
the ability to graduate with industry certifications in emergency
medical responder and emergency medical technician
through its partnership with Barry University.
“Our mission is to give our students the tools needed to go
into these careers and give back to their community or neighboring
SOMERSET COLLEGE PREPARATORY ACADEMY
Are ladybugs more attracted to red light or to blue light? At Somerset College
Preparatory Academy in St. Lucie West, students learn to ask a question
and devise an e_periTent to find an ans^er.
Port St. Lucie Magazine 47
communities,” $lvare says.
Unbeknownst to at least some of the city council members,
Indian 5iver State &ollege has also had plans to boost
education for students interested in trades and manufacturing.
Since 2013 the college has been planning to replace its
51-year-old trade and manufacturing center with a new twostory,
,sTuarefoot skilled Mob training center called the
Treasure Coast Advanced Manufacturing Center. It would be
built across the street from the )ort 3ierce campus as soon as
it can get enough funding from the state.
College President Ed Massey is looking for $14.8 million
from the state 3ublic Education 2utlay )und this year. In past
years PECO awarded the college $1.5 million for planning
and million for the proMect, and the college’s foundation
has given $2 million. The building will cost $23.3 million. The
state legislature decides how much money PECO will get to
distribute each year.
Massey says he knew that training would be needed for
skilled Mobs in robotics and technology. $nd eTuipment that is
being manufactured today will use technology — for example,
selfdriving cars. $ir conditioning units today have far
more technology to control energy usage and humidity. “:e
knew we had to upgrade our programs,” he says.
I5S& already has specialied training in several of its
buildings. The Brown building has training for nuclear power
plant workers and for “green,” or environmentally responsible,
The new building would expand the college’s current
welding program. 7he port of )ort 3ierce, now in the mega
yacht refurbishing and renovation business, will need speciali
ed welders to work on the yachts, Massey says.
Smart manufacturing would be taught – Massey gives the
example of a lathe being programmed to form a final product.
Students would also learn to use ' printers, which are
capable of printing out threedimensional products, such as
parts of a prosthetic arm. “<ou work off a schematic to make
a product,” he says.
7he building will include four labs for welding, automotive,
dieselmarine, and heating and air conditioning systems,
a central “maker’s mall” where students can show off
their proMects, a computer technology lab and a cyber security
advanced technology lab.
The college was recently awarded a $1.53 million grant to
create an aviation and marine training program to help meet
growing needs for a skilled workforce. The two industries
currently have more than Mob openings, says college
spokeswoman Suzanne Seldes.
7he college currently hosts a lot of tradespecific education
programs, including masonry, carpentry, plumbing, electronic
engineering technology and drafting and design technology.
*obnait =ick says the future looks bright for her son. $fter
graduating from Somerset, he would be able to choose a Mob
right away or might decide to attend I5S& and train in the
new manufacturing building, or in a skilled Mobs program in
one of the other new buildings I5S& has built in the last
years or so. E