Looking to a brighter future for students

PTECH LogoTownsend Leather is very proud of our progressive and forward thinking community.  This year, the surrounding counties, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Fulton, have a shining beacon of positive-future-influence right in the heart of the area, our own PTECH school.


The PTECH program is a unique 4 to 6 year school program.  Kids apply to be a part of it and only 50 from the area were selected.  Entering as 9th graders, the students work simultaneously toward earning a Regents High School Diploma and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from Fulton Montgomery Community College — at no cost to the student’s family!

Townsend Leather at PTECH
Townsend Leather partners, Shawn Czadzeck and Ben Towne, interact with PTECH students at the business partner mixer.

The school is working closely with 14 local business.  The businesses will participate with the school, acting as mentors and providing internship type engagement with interested students.

Townsend Leather is so proud to be a business partner with HFM-PTECH and has excitedly been involved with their startup year.  Various Townsend partners have been involved in the creation of the program and have attended a few of the events they have held so far, including a business partner meet and greet day.

Townsend Leather at PTECH
Townsend Leather partner Shawn Czadzeck, shown at left, explaining the passion for leather luxury and design that is prevalent at Townsend

But Townsend has an especially meaningful connection.  Townsend Leather is a family business, in the creation of our business, in the leadership team, in how we do business, and in the makeup of our team.  We have a lot of families, fathers and sons, husbands and wives, cousins, aunts, and so on all working together alongside each other toward Townsend’s goals.  One of these super teams is our own Graphic Designer and Sample Department Supervisor, Joe and Linette Paciolla.  Their son was one of the self-motivated, high-potential students that was accepted into the HFM PTECH program.  Linette and Joe have been veryinvolved in the school with helping at events wherever they can, baking delicious things, and even helping to tune the music room’s instruments.

PTECH students at the official ribbon cutting
PTECH students in front of their new school for the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

The program is focused on project-based work, so there is not the standard teacher-over-the-shoulder while students are working – in fact very little about this school is standard.  The school is progressive in technology; each student was given a laptop and some kids have even remarked that it feels like “going to school at Google” because they have so much state-of-the-art effective technology equipment to aid their studies.  They use this technology to its fullest striving to become a paperless environment.  They also utilize local facilities like the YMCA for gym class where they engage in team-based games.


It is genuinely exciting to see such an impressive place, and the team behind it, working so passionately to create greatness in the area.  Townsend has worked hard to develop a culture of problem-solving and self-motivation within its own walls and is excited at the potential greatness that will come from these kids being taught those same things at such an early age.

Townsend believes in our community and the strength, history, and wisdom of this area.  The “leather-making region” has been a hotbed of craftsmanship, ingenuity, and determination for years.  With the numerous leather tanneries and the enormous and ever-growing family trees that are deeply-rooted in the area, it has been easy to share and spread knowledge, experience, and wisdom.  But as times changes and those opportunities become less, we are excited to see a program like PTECH picking it up.  Giving students a chance to share – in real words, time and, experience – their thoughts.  Bringing diverse students together to problem solve, enhance their soft skills, and build new experiences.  We believe strongly this will be a positive force for our community’s future.


If you want to learn more about HFM PTECH visit or follow them on facebook,