COAL TOWNSHIP - Due to renewed interest, carpentry is back on the Northumberland County Career and Technology Center (NCCTC) curriculum.

At NCCTC's joint operations agency board meeting Thursday evening, Doug Walter, of Millmont, was hired as a carpentry instructor at a salary of $36,000. The school had previously "frozen" the class due to a lack of enrollment.

Administrative director James Monaghan said that has changed in recent weeks.

"We now have four students interested in the program, and we will be recruiting heavily to add more." Monaghan said after the meeting. "Carpentry is a lifelong skill and a viable career that should be taught in this school and in Northumberland County."

In addition, the board unaminously recommended an agreement be ratified between NCCTC and Northwestern Academy to operate a carpentry program at Northwestern's campus along Route 61 in Coal Township, and hired Marcus Pensyl as the instructor at a salary of $33,000.

"We are not talking about a woodshop class," Monaghan said. "This will be a viable vocational program."

The program and Pensyl's hiring are contingent on the Pennsylvania Department of Education's approval of the program at Northwestern.

Monaghan told the board that everything is ready the start of school Monday. He reported the school will apply for part of a $3 million statewide grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for equipment upgrades.

In other business, the board:

- Approved student and teacher handbook for the 2013-14 school year, and the school's acceptable use of Internet, computers and network resources policy.

- Decided students who enroll in NCCTC programs beyond high school will pay a tuition rate of $7 per hour, and granted permission for the administration to employ the needed instructors for the school's adult evening programs at a hourly rate of $20 per hour.

- Renewed the school's insurance policy with Myers and Lynch Insurance Inc. for $32,337, a decrease of $67 from last year.

- Approved payment of $25 per day for the Nutrition Group for the use of an employee to be a cashier for the satellite lunch program,

- Gave permission for the school's programs to participate as exhibitors to promote themselves at the Gratz Fair, and approved NCCTC as the host site for the fall meeting of the Central Pennsylvania chapters of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America. NCCTC co-advisers Gwen Spurr and James Schiavoni will chair the event.

All motions were approved by a 6-0 vote with directors Michael Rovito, Dennis Erdman, Ron McElwee, Charles Shuey, Brian Persing and D. Scott Bartholomew in favor. Director Donna James was absent.