Johns Hopkins APL Earns Certification From Howard County Public Schools’ Technical Education Program

Thu, 09/21/2023 - 14:58
Amanda Mantiply

For many high school students, senior year is spent sitting in a classroom. For Logan Boone and Hassan Abdur-Razzaq, it also involved hands-on training in their desired career paths. Boone and Abdur-Razzaq worked part time at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, during their senior year through the Howard County Public School System’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.

This past year was the first time the Lab worked with student trainees through the CTE program. After graduation, Boone was hired as a full-time service trade trainee in the Laboratory’s Facilities, Maintenance and Operations Group. Abdur-Razzaq was hired in a temporary on-call role with APL’s electrical systems team and is attending George Mason University this fall.

The CTE program offers high school students a unique opportunity to prepare for college or entry-level employment in specific career fields.

It is rare that entry-level staff members start with professional or trade experience. However, the CTE program enables APL to hire individuals with prior technical education and several hundred hours of hands-on experience.

“APL’s certification in the CTE program is extremely beneficial because we have a need for entry-level staff who are excited to build long-term careers here,” said Tony Breeze, who supervises the Facilities, Maintenance and Operations Group in APL’s Business, Construction and Facilities Department. “It’s a great opportunity for the students because they work closely with experienced staff who explain how we approach important work that is central to supporting the Lab. The students are always working under direction with someone looking out for their training and safety.”

As part of their on-the-job development at APL, Boone and Abdur-Razzaq completed in-house training on general maintenance and safety and worked alongside technicians who maintain a variety of equipment at the Lab.

Boone knew early on that he wanted to pursue a career in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) and enrolled in Howard County’s career academy pathway, where he worked at the Applications and Research Laboratory in Ellicott City, Maryland. There, he was nominated to be the manager of the class shop and was named Student of the Month three times in a row. He said this helped put him on a path to his trainee role at APL.

“There is a lot of opportunity to grow my career here, and I’m grateful for getting a head start with CTE,” said Boone. “At APL, I have learned to work across a variety of HVAC equipment, which keeps the work interesting. I enjoy coming to work every day, and it feels great to know that my role is important to support the work across the Lab.”