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Vocational Programs
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Classics for the boys

The Education Department at Okaloosa Youth Academy provides four vocational programs for the youth at the facility. All of the programs emphasize safety, critical thinking, employability skills, and hands-on application. The youth are registered in Florida Course Code classes and all classes provide instruction that correlates with the Florida Sunshine State Standards. The youth learn basic vocational skills that they can apply to community service projects and are often involved in projects off the compound. The vocational programs offered at OYA are electronics, carpentry, horticulture and masonry.

ELECTRONICS - This new vocation program focuses on training students for employment in the field of electronics assembly and testing. It is designed to provide students with a marketable skill in the electronics field and the prerequisites to continue their education in another secondary or post-secondary vocational program.

CARPENTRY - The youth learn to operate both hand and power tools, to apply measurements skills, to work in cooperative groups, to determine the sequential steps necessary to complete a project, and to properly finish a project (sanding, staining, painting, etc.). The youth use handsaws, skil saws, band saws, table saws, radial saws, sanders, power drills, portable drills and screwdrivers, and a variety of small hand tools. They build picnic tables, bookshelves, cabinets and even small storage sheds. The students have completed extensive work on benches, fence railings, and picnic tables for Henderson Beach State Park, Rocky Bayou State Park, and Navarre State Park.

HORTICULTURE - The youth learn the importance of horticulture to the American and global economies, identify career opportunities and demonstrate leadership, employability, communications and human relations skills. They learn to identify plants, propagate plants, identify growing media, apply fertilizers, and irrigate plants and turf. The youth learn to apply scientific and technological principles to the agriculture industry, demonstrate the use of tools, equipment and instruments in hands-on garden plots, and learn the principles of plant nutrient growth and reproduction through actual experiences.

MASONRY - The youth learn the basic techniques of working with brick, block and mortar and of applying measurement and geometry skills to actual projects. They learn to mix mortar, make mortar joints, lay bonds, and clean walls. They alter and repair walls, construct walls of various thicknesses, and build brick piers and pilasters. As their skills increase they build chimneys, fireplaces, steps, fences, walkways, and arches. The youth use trowels, brick cutters, brick tongs, joint tools, masonry rulers, framing squares, levels and cement mixers.