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Students in Herkimer BOCES region experience Mohawk Valley
Construction Career Day with help from School to Careers program

Oct. 14, 2014

Manufacturing Day expo at SUNY Polytechnic Institute
Preston Horender, 16, a junior Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES building construction student from Little Falls, operates a backhoe during Mohawk Valley Construction Career Day on Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Oneida County Department of Public Works Facility in Oriskany. The School to Careers program helped arrange for students in the Herkimer BOCES region to attend the event. For more information on STC, call 315-867-2000 or click here.


ORISKANY – Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES building construction student Kyle Walrath had the opportunity to operate a backhoe, talk to members from a variety of local unions and observe or participate in many other demonstrations during Mohawk Valley Construction Career Day.

Walrath, 17, a junior from Dolgeville, wants to work in construction and join a union as is his brother and grandfather did, so he was interested in everything that was going on at the event.

“I like it all,” he said. “I like the whole hands-on stuff, and the accomplishment of getting it done.”

Mohawk Valley Construction Career Day took place on Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Oneida County Department of Public Works facility in Oriskany. Members of Mohawk Valley Construction Industry Development, which sponsored the career day, conducted a news conference supporting the event with Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, state Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi and State Sen. Joseph Griffo.

The Herkimer BOCES School to Careers program helped attract students from the Herkimer BOCES region to the event. Students from the Herkimer BOCES building construction program and the Pathways Academy at Remington attended the event in Oriskany, along with students from component school districts Poland and Frankfort-Schuyler.

School to Careers – or STC for short – is a partnership developed by Herkimer BOCES among schools and businesses in the region with a goal of connecting students to jobs in the area through workshops, internships, partnerships and planning.

To learn more about the Herkimer BOCES School to Careers program, go to www.herkimer-boces.org and look for STC under the “Instructional Services” tab along the top of the page or call 315-867-2000.

‘The thing to do’

More than 450 local high-school students attended the career day, which is designed to help students learn about careers available in the local construction industry, according to Picente’s office.

The event allows students to learn about construction through educational sessions and hands-on demonstrations including a mockup of a clean room, conduit bending and solar panels, laying brick and block, jackhammering, carpentry, painting, welding, heavy equipment operation, roofing and more.

Walrath said he had fun during the experience.

“I think it’s a great idea – let kids come in and see what the world’s about,” he said.

Herkimer BOCES Pathways Academy student Michael Polak Jr. thought the best part of the day was some of the heavy equipment students could operate – particularly the large crane there. He enjoyed the experience in general, he said.

“It was kind of cool,” he said. “It was fun.”

Herkimer BOCES building construction student Preston Horender, 16, a junior of Little Falls, said he wants to be an electrician. He is learning the basics in the building construction class and will learn more in his senior year, he said.

He is familiar with the construction field because of the family business, Horender Construction, and career day allowed him to be around many students with similar interests, he said.

“It’s nice to see other building construction people,” he said.

Pathways Academy students Ryan Flannagan, of Herkimer, and Errol Thayer, of West Canada Valley, tried out a concrete dumping machine during the career day. The machine also could be used for other materials such as wood, Thayer said.

“It’s pretty easy to move forward,” Thayer said, “but it’s hard to go backwards.”

Flannagan said he would advise other students to check out Mohawk Valley Construction Career Day.
“You should really come here,” he said. “It’s very fun. This is the thing to do.”

‘A great day’

Mohawk Valley Construction Industry Development, which sponsored the event, is made up of the Workforce Investment Board, the state Department of Transportation, Central and Northern New York Building Trades, Mohawk Valley Builders Exchange, Mohawk Valley Construction Employers Association and Mohawk Valley Community College.

Picente, Brindisi, Griffo and Pat Costello, area representative of the Central and Northern New York Building Trades, released statements on the career day:

Picente:

“This is a great partnership between the Mohawk Valley Construction Industry Development and Oneida County. As we highlight the options for young men and women to think about a career in the trades, we also get to show everyone what working in a clean room offers as we prepare for nanotechnology industries in our region.”

Costello:

“This event is great for young men and women to not only see what the different trades do but to actually perform the work themselves. They get to perform the work and talk to experts from the trades about opportunities for careers in the construction industry. It is a great day.”

Brindisi:

The construction career fair is a valuable program to help ease the middle-skills jobs crisis here in the Mohawk Valley. Most of the employers students are talking with today currently have good paying, killed jobs available in fields like welding, nanotechnology, carpentry and high-tech manufacturing. For several years, I have been strongly advocating for a new pathway to a high-school diploma that would place more emphasis on these skills, and I am pleased to see a broad coalition made up of labor and trades unions, state and Oneida County agencies, and local school districts and colleges educating many of our high-school students on the many opportunities that are available in high-tech manufacturing.”

Griffo:

“The career day is an excellent opportunity for Mohawk Valley teenagers to become tradesmen for a day. These education sessions and hands-on demonstrations will allow students to learn about the rewarding careers that await them in the construction industry. This is a great way to connect professionals with their future employees in a relaxed and fun setting.”


Additional photos:


Ryan Flannagan, a student in the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington, operates a concrete machine during the Mohawk Valley Construction Career Day on Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Oneida County Department of Public Works Facility in Oriskany. The School to Careers program helped arrange for students in the Herkimer BOCES region to attend the event.



Students from the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington pose for a photo during the Mohawk Valley Construction Career Day on Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Oneida County Department of Public Works Facility in Oriskany. The School to Careers program helped arrange for students in the Herkimer BOCES region to attend the event.


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