- Historic Overview -
Fayette Institute has been providing technical and business school instruction for the past 64 years. It is reviewed and licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Private Licensed Schools under the Department of Education in Harrisburg. All programs are also reviewed and approved by the appropriate board and all instructional personnel have met state standards for performance competencies. Open year-round for enrollment, the school is approved for programs offered by the Workforce Investment Act, Trade Readjustment Act, Veteran's Affairs and Vocational Rehabilitation.
Founded by Richard Zaiden and organized in 1947, it was originally known as the Technician Training School, a subsidiary of Commercial Institute, a Pittsburgh-based corporation. It remained under that ownership until the late 1950's, when Dominick and Mary Virginia Rich became the owners and was known as the Technician Training School and Commercial Training School of Uniontown.. In 1966, the present corporation was formed and the name changed to Fayette Institute of Commerce and Technology, Inc. Mary Virginia Rich served as Vice President and Treasurer of the corporation until her death in March, 1996.
The Rich's were strongly committed to building a quality workforce for the area. They saw the school's role as vital in taking unskilled, under-prepared and sometime's disabled individuals, along with those in need of up-grade training, and preparing them for the new jobs of the future. Upon the death of Mr. Dominick Rich in December of 2004, his two daughters, Dr. Nancy J. Priselac and Mrs. Rosemary Bucchianeri became owners. They carry his vision forward, as building and program modifications are made to accommodate future training needs.
A number of courses have been offered during the past 50+ years and many individuals have prepared for entry-level employment in the tri-state labor market. In the late 1940's and early 1950's, the demand for training centered itself around the trowel trades of plastering and bricklaying. A demand also existed for training in the fields of radio and television and plastics. However, in time, the regional economic climate altered and training demands changed. With the advent of the 1960's, new industry appeared in the area and there was a need for employees with basic skills relating to keypunching and metal fabrication. Fayette Institute met this demand through the initiation of courses in IBM keypunching and basic electric arc welding. During the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's, the school trained in excess of 1,000 welders, mechanical drafters, electricians and business program participants who were certified and moved into jobs both inside and outside the region. The electrical wiring industry has maintained a consistent requirement for skilled entry-level employees. Here again, Fayette Institute meets the demand through presentation of a full-time instruction program of electrical house wiring, commercial-industrial wiring and electric motor repair. Instruction is kept on a practical level with concentration on skill building and reliance on classroom work to reinforce the shop skills.
As in the past, current programs offered at
the school train the unemployed and under-employed to prepare for entry-level
positions in regional businesses and industry. The training also prepares graduates
for self-employment and promotion opportunities. Presently,one diploma program
is offered: Maintenance
The Maintenance Electricity, is offered in a three unit sequence of courses. The first course, "House Wiring," is 690 clock hours long. Students apply the National Code in planning and installing small dwelling electrical systems. They learn to read and interpret wiring and layout schematics, as well as estimating techniques for preparing job estimates from a set of blueprints. Students develop basic house wiring plans, layout and installation techniques for wiring, equipment, fixtures, appliances and a correct entrance.
"Commercial/Industrial Wiring" is the second unit in the sequence and is 650 clock hours long. The student is taught to use the National Code requirements in planning and installing commercial/industrial electrical systems. The student is expected to read and interpret schematics and blueprints, and to layout and install conduit, fittings, raceways and wire moldings. Students install and repair system components. They identify and analyze AC and DC power sources and distribution systems. Finally, the student prepares job estimates from a set of blueprints.
The 630 clock hour program, "Electric Motors and Controls," is the third course in the sequence. The student is taught to maintain, troubleshoot electric motors, controls and Programable Logic Controller systems. Students use test instruments and testing procedures to diagnose and troubleshoot various types of electric motors. They identify and analyze motor and controller operating characteristics and ratings. As with all of the courses in this program, students are taught to use accepted safety techniques in the work environment.
The direction of the school will continue to have at its core a vocational orientation. However, the technological and communication development, that is our future, bring new opportunities for the region and in turn dictates new programming, new delivery, and new global partnerships. We at the Fayette Institute will be a part of the regional development. We look forward to expand our mission to include teacher development in a technological society, practical skill development for the engineering profession, technology applications in a global business environment and pre-university student academic development through an academy program. Pilot programs in a number of these areas are presently being developed and will soon be announced. We will continue to respond to legitimate training needs in the region, but we also plan to become more pro-active in providing leadership in those areas that we have expertise.