A Need for Skilled Work­ers

BO­CES hosts leg­isla­tive break­fast

The Record (Troy, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Paul Post [email protected]­i­tal­first­media.com Re­porter

SARATOGASPRINGS, N.Y. >> A BO­CES-trained heavy equip­ment op­er­a­tor, with no col­lege ed­u­ca­tion, can earn $100,000 with full ben­e­fits at Wilton-based D. A. Collins, one of the area’s largest con­struc­tion firms.

Com­pany Pres­i­dent Dan Collins called on state law­mak­ers Fri­day to fund such pro­grams that pre­pare the work­ers needed to re­build Amer­ica’s ag­ing roads and bridges.

He and other heads of lo­cal busi­nesses were among the more than 100 peo­ple gath­ered for a leg­isla­tive break­fast at the F. Don­ald My­ers Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter.

“The need for peo­ple to build this coun­try is stag­ger­ing,” Collins said. “The num­ber of peo­ple with a skills back­ground is stag­ger­ingly small. There’s go­ing to be a lot of work. We need a skilled work­force. It starts right here with pro­grams like this.”

But state aid only pro­vides for the first $30,000 of a BO­CES Ca­reer and Tech­ni­cal in­struc­tor’s salary, which av­er­ages $65,000. The cap was set in 1992.

School of­fi­cers are lob- by­ing the Leg­is­la­ture to in­crease aid to 100 per­cent of teacher salaries, so more stu­dents can take Ca­reer and Tech­ni­cal cour­ses, in a wide va­ri­ety of fields.

The an­nual break­fast rec­og­nizes stu­dent ac­com­plish­ments and gives school of­fi­cers a chance to share their leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties with state leg­is­la­tors, who can push for fund­ing dur­ing the up­com­ing bud­get process. Law­mak­ers in at­ten­dance were state Sen. Daphne Jor­dan, R-Half­moon, and Assem­bly mem­bers Car­rie Worner, DRound Lake; Mary Beth Walsh, R-Ball­ston; and Dan Stec, R- Queens­bury.

Kathy Juck­ett of Granville-based Tele­scope Fur­ni­ture said her firm makes all of the ma­chin­ery needed to man­u­fac­ture its prod­ucts, which are sold around the world. So the com­pany has a con­stant need for ma­chin­ists, welders, elec­tri­cians, and car­pen­ters.

“Col­lege isn’t for ev­ery­body,” she said. “We need peo­ple with ba­sic skills that have some­thing to of­fer us when they walk through the door.”

Joseph Rac­cuia said em­ploy­ment at Mor­con Tis­sue, in Cam­bridge, has grown from 60 to more than 100 work­ers since he pur­chased the firm in 2013.

“We need help,” he said. “We need peo­ple to run our high-tech main­te­nance equip­ment. Our head of main­te­nance grad­u­ated from a BO­CES pro­gram 25 years ago.”

The break­fast was pre­pared by BO­CES culi­nary stu­dents, while flo­ral cen­ter­pieces were cre­ated by hor­ti­cul­ture stu­dents, and health and hu­man ser­vices stu­dents set up the large din­ing room. These are among the many other pro­grams BO­CES of­fers.

Stu­dents Kora Austin and Alexis Mose­man, and Dy­lan Bruce of Cam­bridge told how the Skills USA pro­gram they’re in­volved in has helped pre­pare them for fu­ture ca­reers. All three have taken part in lo­cal, re­gional and statewide com­pe­ti­tions where they’ve gained valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence in their re­spec­tive fields.

Austin i s study­ing crim­i­nal jus­tice, Mose­man is fo­cused on early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion, and Bruce is en­rolled in an en­vi­ron­men­tal con­ser­va­tion and forestry course. Re­cently, Bruce gained hands- on ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing a “Salut­ing Branches” out­ing at Saratoga Na­tional Ceme­tery, where Na­tional Grid em­ploy­ees taught stu­dents how to iden­tify and safely re­move dan­ger­ous trees.

Dur­ing the pro­gram, school of­fi­cials pre­sented Busi­ness & In­dus­try Awards to a pair of lo­cal em­ploy­ers that strongly sup­port schools in their re­spec­tive com­mu­ni­ties.

Fort Ed­ward Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools Daniel Ward pre­sented an award to Irving Tis­sue of­fi­cials. The com­pany has pro­vided $15,000 for an after-school home­work space and has also pro­vided equip­ment for a school ro­bot­ics pro­gram.

Glens Falls Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools Paul Jenk­ins pre­sented an award to O’Brien In­sur­ance owner John O’Brien, who has or­ga­nized a busi­ness schol­ar­ship fund for stu­dents and also vis­its schools reg­u­larly to share his knowl­edge with stu­dents.

BY PAUL POST - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

BO­CES culi­nary stu­dents pre­pared de­li­cious food items for a leg­isla­tive break­fast at the F. Don­ald My­ers Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­ter on Fri­day.

BY PAUL POST - DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

More than 100school and elected of­fi­cials at­tended a leg­isla­tive break­fast at the F. Don­ald My­ers Cen­ter in Saratoga Springs on Fri­day. Stu­dents shared their ex­pe­ri­ences and the value of Ca­reer and Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams. From left to right are Kora Austin of Saratoga Springs, Dy­lan Bruce of Cam­bridge and Alexis Mose­man of Saratoga Springs.

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