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During School Board Recognition Month this October, we would like to thank the members of the Herkimer BOCES Board of Education for their service and all that they do for BOCES and our students! Thank you to: Daniel LaLonde, Thomas Shypski, Jack Bono, Ronald Loiacono, Janine Lynch, William Miller, James Schmid, Michelle Szarek, Linda Tharp and Daniel Voce!
Seventh-graders introduced to construction career opportunities
May 14, 2015


Student uses a welding simulator
(Left) West Canada Valley seventh-grader Christopher Christensen, 14, operates a welding simulator brought to Seventh Grade Construction Career Day by Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES. (Right) Herkimer BOCES welding student Zach Nash explains to Christopher how to use the simulator. Nash and Herkimer BOCES welding student Ethan Livingtston attended Seventh Grade Construction Career Day at Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES to introduce the profession to younger students, and they also were able to talk with industry representatives about their own career opportunities. For someone who hasn’t welded before, the simulator introduces them to what it’s like to weld and helps them get down the basics of the movements, Nash and Livingston said. For information about the Herkimer BOCES School to Careers program, click here.



At just 14 years old, West Canada Valley seventh-grader Christopher Christensen has a clear plan in mind to lead him toward a well-paying job in the construction industry.

Christopher plans to go to a trade school right out of high school and work his way into a job, he said.
“I want to be a heavy duty operator and work with cranes and stuff like that,” he said.

On Thursday, May 14, Christopher and hundreds of other seventh-graders from the region learned more about job opportunities in the field during the first Seventh Grade Construction Career Day. Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES and Madison-Oneida BOCES teamed up to put on the event, which was hosted this year at OHM BOCES in New Hartford.

The Herkimer BOCES School to Careers program arranged for about 90 students from the Herkimer BOCES region to attend the event – including seventh-graders from Central Valley, Frankfort-Schuyler, Herkimer, Mount Markham, Owen D. Young, West Canada Valley and the Herkimer BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington.

There were eight stations that students were able to visit: bricklayers, plumbers, laborers, operating engineers, sheet metal workers, carpenters, electricians and painters.

“I think it’s cool, and I’m excited I get the opportunity to do it,” Christopher said. “My favorite was masonry because you get to work with cement and stack bricks.”

The goal of Seventh Grade Construction Career Day is to get the students thinking about what they want to do for their careers and make them more aware of the job opportunities that are available – including careers right in this region, School to Careers liaison MaryBeth Napolitano said.

“This day was awesome,” she said. “This was a learning experience today. It’s all about exposing our students at a younger level.”

Mount Markham seventh-grader Abby Allen, 12, said she found out more about the types of jobs presented throughout the day.

“It’s pretty cool,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot.”

Abby liked the laborers station the best, and she enjoyed hearing the hosts talk about what they do for their jobs, she said.

“I just thought it was interesting,” she said.

Chaperone Tavish Rathbone, the seventh and eighth grade technology teacher at Mount Markham, also was impressed with the event.

Most people in schools are always pushing college, and teachers are often advocates for college because they had to earn their degrees, but there are many well-paying jobs in construction and other industries that students can focus on and have the satisfaction of doing hands-on work, Rathbone said.

“Let’s face it, there are a lot of jobs out there that don’t need a master’s degree or bachelor’s,” he said.

Napolitano noticed that many of the volunteer workers from the trades industries stressed to students the importance of mathematics, science and reading comprehension skills, as well as soft skills such as communication. The speakers also discussed the hands-on appeal of many of the jobs for students and the opportunities for apprenticeships or training programs.

The event introduces students to more career options and people who work in the industry, so they can picture goals they can strive for, Napolitano said.

“They see an end result, which is important,” she said.

Herkimer BOCES School to Careers Director Chris Groves said the event was exactly the type of regional collaboration necessary to provide opportunities for students across the valley.

“If we push forward and don’t allow our local borders to restrict our students from the opportunities around them, there is no limit to their success,” Groves said. “Today has been a direct result of that type of planning and wide open vision.”



Student uses a transit level
Mount Markham seventh-grader Abby Allen, 12, looks through a transit level as Richard Waskiewicz, construction trades instructor at Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES, guides her on Thursday, May 14, at Seventh Grade Construction Career Day. The transit level allowed students to read a piece of paper across the room that displayed “construction trades rules.” The tool can spin around 360 degrees and is used to make marks to establish the elevation of a foundation, Waskiewicz said. Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES and Madison-Oneida BOCES teamed up to put on the event, which was hosted this year at OHM BOCES in New Hartford. The Herkimer BOCES School to Careers program arranged for about 90 students from the Herkimer BOCES region to attend the event. For information about the School to Careers program, click here.






 
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