Capital Region BOCES construction programs to be updated to provide increased knowledge, skills

SCHOHARIE — A pair of Capital Region BOCES programs are being restructured this school year to better meet the needs of employers and students alike.

The Residential Construction/Heavy Equipment and the Commercial Construction/Heavy Equipment programs are now known as Building Trades and Heavy Equipment Operation, Maintenance & Repair.
Both programs are located on the Career & Technical Education Center – Schoharie Campus.

Career & Technical Education Director Jeff Palmer said the changes allow BOCES to better reflect the needs of employers and allow students to get a more in-depth look into their chosen fields.
For example, teacher Matt Millard said students in the re-branded Heavy Equipment Operation, Maintenance & Repair program will now learn how to operate drones.

Drones can not only help plan construction sites with their cameras, but using scanning technology, such as infrared, geo-locating and thermal sensors to assist in mapping construction sites and modeling construction projects.
“Drones are being used in many facets of construction and site work. Being able to operate a drone and know its use is a major bonus for students getting into this field,” said Millard.

Students in the program will continue to work with numerous business partners to sharpen their skills and make use of the heavy equipment simulators donated last year by National Grid.

The Building Trades program on the Schoharie Campus is a version of the same program offered on the Albany Campus and allow students to focus more on the physical side of construction, from building frames, floors and roofs to reading and understanding blueprints.

Students will even test their skills by constructing a tiny house and will work with multiple business partners, including Curtis Lumber.

“Our construction and heavy equipment students are in high demand. Employers are constantly reaching out to us looking for new workers. We believe these changes will increase that demand and give our students even more resources to tap into as they build their futures,” said Palmer.

There are 41 students enrolled in the Heavy Equipment program on the Schoharie Campus this year and 37 enrolled in the campus’ Building Trades program. More than 1,320 students are enrolled in 29 different programs offered at Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical Education Center this school year.