PHILADELPHIA -- James Clark reports that the vending machine mechanics program that he has conducted for two decades at Edison/Fareira High School here is relocating to Randolph Technical High School.
The program, designed to give inner-city students the opportunity to train for vending industry employment, has been supported strongly by the Pennsylvania Automatic Merchandising Council (now the Tri-State), and by manufacturers and suppliers. Many of its graduates have found full-time employment in the industry.
But the time had come for a change, Clark said. "Over the years, Edison/Fareira High School has had many changes that have negatively impacted the level of training which is required by the vending industry for entry-level employees," he reported. At the urging of the Tri-State council, the Philadelphia School District has decided to move the program to Randolph Technical High School.
Clark explained that both schools are open to the same inner-city students and are less than four miles apart. Randoph is an "application-only" institution that draws students from all parts of the city. Edison/Fareira is a neighborhood high school.
As a result of the move, student industry training time will be increased by 16%, the veteran instructor said. "And technical training will be considered a major, required for graduation, as opposed to an elective," he said.
The Philadelphia School District has initiated the process to relocate the program. Clark reported, and expects a normal year's startup at Randolph in September. The principals of both schools have agreed that currently enrolled vending students will be offered the opportunity to transfer with the program.