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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!
Students gain summer experience with
transportation careers at Herkimer BOCES

Aug. 8, 2016



Obreza trucking presentation
Matthew Obreza, vice president of Richard Obreza Trucking in Mohawk, speaks to students in the transportation, distribution and logistics session of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES summer youth employment and training program.



HERKIMER – Students in the transportation, distribution and logistics session of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES summer youth employment and training program have been learning skills for general car maintenance such as car washing and detailing and checking fluids and air pressure.

Craig Miller, who is teaching the session and also is instructor of the Herkimer BOCES automotive technology career and technical education program, has additionally been telling students about other jobs in the transportation, distribution and logistics career cluster – both through his own thoughts and from guest speakers.

“There are a lot of opportunities,” Miller said, to the students. “At 14 and 15, you’ve done a lot more than others your age. You see that you have to look at your futures."

The summer youth employment and training program at Herkimer BOCES runs for six weeks for 33 local students who are ages 14 and 15. The students attend for five hours per day, four days per week and are paid $9 per hour through a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families grant that funds the program. Students attend two-week sessions in three of the four available career clusters: agriculture, food and natural resources; hospitality and tourism; information technology; and transportation, distribution and logistics.

The transportation, distribution and logistics session included a trip to Premier Aviation at the Griffiss Business and Technology Park in Rome and to the Mohawk Valley Community College aviation program. Guest speakers visited BOCES including Matthew Obreza, vice president of Richard Obreza Trucking in Mohawk; Kenneth Light Jr., owner of eight NAPA Auto Parts stores; and Jamie Tomaso and Paul Peters, sales service engineers of Ford Motor Co.

“This is all about getting you ahead of the game,” Miller said, to the students. “The real world is tough. If you don’t go out there with all your cards in a row, then you don’t have a chance.”

Tomaso and Peters talked to students about technical career entry programs offered by Ford Motor Co. The programs align local Ford dealers with BOCES to introduce career opportunities in the automotive industry to interested students.

The Ford sales service engineers also told the students about the automotive industry, types of jobs available and future needs for employees.

Obreza talked to the students about growing up in the Richard Obreza Trucking business, which now has 55 employees including 42 drivers, five mechanics and eight officers and office staff.

He covered the pros and cons of being a truck driver – such as traveling, setting your own hours and having freedom versus being away from home and your families a lot and working on weekends, nights and holidays. He also said there are expectations of a severe shortage of truck drivers in the industry in about 10 years.

“There will always be a need for truck drivers,” Obreza said. “Goods need to get from point A to point B.”

Obreza also talked about the overall career cluster offering many jobs including busing, airlines, accounting, human resources, payroll, comptrollers, marketing, sales, web maintenance and information technology.

During Light Jr.’s visit about NAPA Auto Parts stores, he said people don’t generally want to be at an auto parts store because it usually means something is wrong with their vehicle, so it’s important to read and understand procedures, follow directions, use a computer to find parts and communicate effectively with customers.

“I’ve been doing this a long time,” he said. “I don’t feel like I take advantage of people. I feel like I try to help people.”

Light Jr. said about 20 percent of his employees are female, and at least one woman works at each store – including drivers, an office manager and more.

There are about 6,000 NAPA stores in the United States, he said.

“There’s lots of opportunities,” he said. “It’s all about work ethic.”

Miller said his first job was at a NAPA store. When there are 30 garages calling you needing parts, you need to know the questions to ask to make sure you get the right part for the customer – such as the make, model and year of the car and the size of the motor, he said.

“There was a lot there for me to learn,” he said.

Summer program student Kodi Wellington, 15, of West Canada Valley, participated in the transportation, agriculture and hospitality sessions. He said he was most interested in working in the transportation field and learned from Miller that it’s better to work as part of a team.

Kodi said he enjoyed the program for the experience it gives him.

“And it will be a good thing to put on my resume,” he said.

Additional stories spotlighting each of the four career cluster programs will be coming soon including online at www.herkimer-boces.org, www.facebook.com/HerkimerBOCES and www.twitter.com/HerkimerBOCES.



NAPA Auto Parts presentation
Kenneth Light Jr., owner of eight NAPA Auto Parts stores, speaks to students in the transportation, distribution and logistics session of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES summer youth employment and training program.


Students wtih Ford Motor Co. sales service engineers
Students in the transportation, distribution and logistics session of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES summer youth employment and training program pose for a picture with Ford Motor Co. sales service engineers Jamie Tomaso and Paul Peters.


Obreza Trucking presentation
Matthew Obreza, vice president of Richard Obreza Trucking in Mohawk, speaks to students in the transportation, distribution and logistics session of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES summer youth employment and training program.


NAPA Auto Parts presentation
Kenneth Light Jr., owner of eight NAPA Auto Parts stores, speaks to students in the transportation, distribution and logistics session of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES summer youth employment and training program.







 
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