NEW PHILADELPHIA ‒ Governor Mike DeWine visited Buckeye Career Center Monday, where he spoke to enthusiastic students like Grayden Nance, who is among those building a house on nearby Brookside Drive.
“I love building,” Nance said. “I’ve loved it since I was about 5. I’ve seen guys working on rooftop houses and I’m like, ‘Wow, I want to do this. when I’m older.”
After:The Buckeye house sold at auction
Construction technology instructor Terry Thompson, now in his 23rd year of teaching, said there are plenty of jobs available for graduates.
“We get calls every day for jobs,” he said. “They’ll take them as fast as they can graduate.”
Thompson said some of his students already had jobs waiting for them upon graduation. One is planning to study construction management in college. Some go to union employment offices to make contact with employers.
Demand remains high in Ohio for construction workers
DeWine heard the same from Electrical Systems Technology Instructor Jeremy Burdick, Lineman Instructor James Pimpas and Masonry Instructor Ryan Irwin.
In the basement of the Brookside house, where the students installed the wiring, Burdick said his graduates can work in a variety of settings, from individual workshops to large contractors.
Burdick, a former entrepreneur and business owner, told DeWine that his father was a vocational teacher who let him know that if he got a haircut, he was an alumnus, and if someone was coming to work on the oven, it was a former student.
“I’ve known the value of a vocational education for quite a long time,” said Burdick, who said some of those students would go on to study electrical engineering in college.
Irwin said there were more job openings than he had masonry students who could pay $15 to $32 an hour, depending on experience.
“It’s like a labor shortage, 100 percent,” he told DeWine.
At the lineman’s lab, Pimpas said his students may need to complete an additional five years of training with a power company after graduation to become qualified to lead a repair crew. But that may be a year younger than unschooled recruits, he said.
The governor watched the students work 60 feet above the ground on poles, where they had to install a transformer.
“We’re going to build it as if it were an ordinary power line outside,” Pimpas said. He said students will also be trained to stay safe in hazardous environments, such as restoring electrical service during ice storms. Her program has enrolled eight female students, three of whom are also training in natural resources at Buckeye.
He said the students did some fun projects, like setting up a Christmas display.
They will occasionally throw a football or basketball while on poles. Pimpas said it helped them feel comfortable.
“I love it and I think those guys love it,” Pimpas said of his students. “It’s teamwork par excellence.”
Business leaders focus on vocational education
After touring Buckeye’s hands-on learning sites, DeWine hosted a roundtable with local business, education and government leaders at the school’s Joe Carlisle Cafe.
DeWine said the vocational education offered at schools like Buckeye can help young people find work they’re passionate about and love doing, while addressing unmet needs for skilled labor. He expressed concern about students graduating from high school with no career path.
mike hovan, COO of Lauren International, said Tuscarawas County has hundreds of kids like this, those who can’t afford or have the interest to go to college and fall through the cracks. fillet. He asked the governor what the state could do to connect more high school students to local businesses and training programs.
“That’s a question,” DeWine said. “There’s no way for them to know about all the different businesses that are out there, the opportunities, the things that are out there that they would like to do.”
Michael Haberman, executive vice president of industrial equipment for the Alamo Group, which owns Gradall, said the excavator maker had employees representing the fourth generation of their families to work at the local plant. He said the company moved two more product lines to the New Philadelphia plant because of the relationship with Buckeye.
“I’m not a big fan of college debt,” Haberman said. He said he was a huge Buckeye fan. He said the school’s programs can be invaluable for adults who have lost their way.
After:Buckeye Emergency Medical Services students train
Contact Nancy at 330-364-8402 or [email protected]
On Twitter: @nmolnarTR