Erie 1 Boces is a lot like more technical-oriented schools around the state, giving kids opportunities for specialized fieldwork. And while most may hear BOCES and think plumbing, HVAC and electrical, their newer campuses offer production computer labs, recording studios and more digital presence for both education and recreation.
"BOCES program has moved from the term 'vocational' to 'career and technical education'," said Assistant Superintendent Aneeda Trautman. "These types of programs are very expensive to run. So for a district, they are able to send students here and not have to take that burden of having those programs on their own campuses."
As much as these campuses may have to offer, along with other older programs expanding, sometimes kids find out too late.
"It was very odd because you don't hear about like these programs until you're actually like in high school," said digital media student Sabrina DiPasqua.
The goal for BOCES and their students is to get the word out and get more kids in for that experience.
"It gives you a very different feel,” she added. “It's almost like a mini-college, in a way.”
It's why kids like Dipasqua are coming out from the districts in waves.
"When I heard about this campus I was more than just excited, I was absolutely mind blown when I first saw it," Dipasqua said.
This particular building has only been hosting programs for a bit, but the immediate return from those in the seats speaks for itself.
"The commitment that was put through the team overall is definitely going to change the way that this generation grows up," she said. "This is a really big step for everyone in this field and to know that at this age, we get to jump into this headfirst."
BOCES and trade schools aren't just about the physical labor force anymore and the line to get in really shows.
"So for the last 10 years, we've experienced waitlists of between two and 300 students wanting to get into one of our 30 programs," said Trautman.