Fred Eberle students show off SKILLS

Brianna Barnette, a junior, Buckhannon-Upshur High School, a student in the phlebotomy program at Fred Eberle Technical Center, poses with her SKILLS USA project. Students participated in a skills competition Tuesday at the center.

BUCKHANNON— Fred W. Eberle Technical Center held their annual SKILLS USA contest on Tuesday.  Students were given the opportunity to show off their skill level and performance in their chosen field, with hopes of advancing on to the state SKILLS contest.  Depending on the program, a written and/or hands-on performance test was administered and judged.  Awards are given to the top three performers in each category, with each first place winner going to the state contest.  The technical center was proud to have two students who were also able to move on and compete at the national level last year.

The mission of Fred W. Eberle Technical Center is to produce generations of knowledgeable, skillful, and productive professionals that will lead the way into the future.  Students from Buckhannon-Upshur, Philip Barbour and Lewis County High Schools can elect to complete their career major at the technical center.  An array of programs are offered to these secondary students that run concurrently with the normal school year.  Homeschool students are also eligible to attend the technical center if they choose. 

Automotive Technology teaches students the skills to analyze and repair all major systems of the automobile including ignition, engine, computer, fuel, brake, electrical, air conditioning and drive trains. 

Carpentry teaches all phases of house construction including use of power tools, blueprint reading, foundation, framing, interior/exterior finishing, plumbing systems and cabinet making.  Students in the Carpentry program are building a mobile concession stand that can be used for events at places like Jawbone Park with the plan for proceeds to be donated to local charities like the Parrish House.

Computer Repair and Networking gives students the basic skills needed to build and repair computer systems.  The Cisco Networking Academy is designed to teach students the skills necessary to design, build, and maintain small to medium-size computer networks.  Students who complete the program can become Cisco Certified Network Associates (CCNA).

Collision Repair Technology teaches students safety practices, tools and equipment, welding and cutting, metal working and forming, frame and unibody, refinishing systems, metal finishing and collision repair.  This program has even taken on projects of community members.

Cosmetology focuses on the knowledge, skills, attitudes and practices required for careers in the field and licensure is available through the WV Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists.  Adult students take appointments on Wednesdays and Thursdays to provide a variety of services to the public at a pro-rated price.

Diesel Technology teaches the care and use of tools, diesel engine construction, truck systems, fuel systems, engine overhaul, troubleshooting and electronic engine controls.  A 675-hour adult evening class is also available. 

Electrical Technology covers the basic theory and ohms law, blueprints, residential wiring, appliance and air conditioning, and national electrical code.  Students completing this program are eligible to take the State Journeyman’s Electrician’s Exam.

Health Occupations covers health concepts and careers, medical terminology, anatomy, physiology, basic nutrition and basic clinical skills.  Students completing this program will be eligible to become Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) upon passing the examination. 

Health Professions is designed for students who plan a pathway in healthcare.  Clinical rotations may include nursing assistants, phlebotomy, EKG, physician’s offices, physical therapy clinics or pharmacies.

Welding Technology teaches students about welding tools and equipment, oxyacetylene, arc, MIG and TIG welding, blueprints, layout, and safety practices.  State certification is available on site.

Adults can be admitted to these secondary programs if space is available, but there are also three post-secondary programs available specifically for adults.  Electricity program is offered 2-3 evenings per week.  Upon completion of the Electricity program, students are eligible to take the State Journeyman’s Electrician’s exam. 

Adult students can also take the CDL Truck Driving program in preparation to receive a Class A CDL license.  FETC Career Coach, Rachel Smarr, reported that they are currently working on a plan to incorporate a school bus driver CDL program due to the current shortage of drivers. 

The Licensed Practical Nursing program is one of the most competitive offered at FETC.  This 18-month program for adults provides all the classroom and clinical instruction necessary for taking the state board of examiners LPN exam.  It is a very economical option in comparison to attending college and only focused on nursing, rather than including general studies classes. The LPN program only costs about $5,000, which is far cheaper than traditional college programs resulting in the same degree.  FETC is fully accredited, so those students who wish to pursue a higher degree can easily transfer their credits.  Only 33 spots are available for this program, so applicants are encouraged to apply early. 

The technical center is now accepting applications for all adult programs.  Applications, admission and tuition information can be found online at or call 304-472-1259.  Fred W. Eberle Technical Center will also be hosting a Job Fair on May 3, 2019.

Be sure to check out Friday’s edition of The Record Delta for a complete list of SKILLS USA contest winners and to find out who will be advancing on to the state competition.     


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