GHS CVTE program receives work boots, will showcase student portfolios Thursday


Jack Porter

Vocational students were gifted safety footwear from the BRUNT FOOTWEAR COMPANY

BEN CARPENTER, Arts and Culture Editor

This week, the GHS vocational program is hosting two special events. On Wednesday, many vocational students will be receiving work boots donated by BRUNT Workwear, and on Thursday, a showcase is planned for several students to demonstrate their skills.

Brenda Waslick, head of GHS’ CVTE program, said that this event was part of an effort to emphasize the importance of vocational education and the strength of Gloucester’s shops. She reached out to BRUNT Workwear earlier this year in order to attract attention to the program and its many benefits.

“[BRUNT] gives back to communities in the form of boots and safety PPE, which has become ubiquitous due to the pandemic,” Waslick said. “I want to thank them for their generosity. It elevates the importance of safety and is being validated by the outside.

“These programs have four-year training, you come out with a safety certification, hot works credentials, and your hours count towards your license,” Waslick said. “WT Rich is looking for workers to project managers, where you can make 6-figure salaries. I have more businesses looking for workers than I have workers looking for businesses.”

In December, the city granted official transportation for CVTE students, and have been covered by city insurance since earlier this year. Some GHS students have even been contracted for reconstructions of the police station and the Sawyer Free Library. Eligibility for such jobs begins January of students’ junior years, where they generally make $17-34 per hour.

Valued at approximately $150 each, the 98 boots represent a combined nearly $15,000 value. Waslick emphasized the high level of dedication and skill shown by each of Wednesday’s awardees.

“The students getting boots are showing commitment,” Waslick said. “They’re not leaving the program . They’re seniors who are graduating and going into the trades, or underclassmen who are staying in the program.”

According to Waslick, the trade skills offered by GHS are classified by the state as “non-traditional female shops,” a designation indicating that the majority of participants are men.

“The city [of Gloucester] wanted to address that gap, to add a non-traditional male shop,” Waslick said. There are currently plans to start a medical-assistant program within the next few years, which is expected to be a “non-traditional male shop.”

On Thursday evening at 5:30, the CVTE program will be hosting its first-ever student showcase in the GHS auditorium. One student from each shop will be presenting their professional portfolio. Awards will also be given out for top-performing students.