Construction business partnerships help Capital Region BOCES students, adults build their futures

Nearly 100 area businesses and institutions regularly collaborate with Capital Region BOCES to build the future of the construction industry in the Capital Region and beyond.

Their support is crucial not only to the success of students, but also to the future of the construction industry. 

”These partnerships are critical because they allow us to stay on top of what is going on in the industry,” said Capital Region BOCES Senior Executive Officer Joseph P. Dragone, Ph.D. “They also help to place students in good jobs that help grow the regional economy and overcome national unemployment trends.”

October is Careers in Construction Month – a time to recognize the importance of the construction trades in America. Throughout the month we will be highlighting the important role Capital Region BOCES has in supporting the construction industry locally and nationally.

Reagan Smith, a Class of 2020 Berne-Knox-Westerlo graduate, said her time at BOCES was crucial to the success she has achieved, including working as a project coordinator at DWM Comprehensive Solutions in the Construction Renovation Division in Latham.

“Capital Region BOCES helped me develop the needed skills and abilities to pursue my career, helped me seek the right path to accomplish tasks needed in this field of work,” she said. “BOCES allowed me to jump out of my comfort zone and explore new ideas with other students that I had never met before and learn something hands-on.”

Fellow graduate Dillon DiGirolamo said the wide variety of careers he was exposed to through the Construction/Heavy Equipment program allowed him to find the perfect fit with the Carpenters Local No. 291 in Albany.

“Capital Region BOCES helped me immensely in finding a career that I enjoy by bringing our class to various union halls, helping me to create a resume and making sure it was thorough so that I could get hired,” said the Class of 2020 Schalmont High School graduate.

According to the Associated Builders and Contractors Association, the construction industry will need to bring in more than 342,000 new workers on top of normal hiring in 2024 to meet industry demand, and that’s presuming that construction spending growth slows significantly.

From electrical trades to heavy equipment to construction, carpentry, welding and HVAC/R, programming provides students with pathways to great careers. 

Enrollment in the seven construction-related programs continues to rise with more than 360 high school students from more than 24 area school districts in attendance. This underscores a greater trend of students and their families realizing the value of the skilled trades. 

Among the students enrolled is Dean Makarowski, who attends BOCES from Cobleskill-Richmondville High School.

“The program gives you experience and opportunities you can’t get anyplace else and you are working with a great bunch of people,” he said.

Fellow senior Nathaniel Froehlich knew from a young age that he wanted to work in the electrical trades.

“I took an electronics electrical course at Niskayuna (High School) and that really interested me in the electrical trades. That got me really intrigued with all things electricity and now, after just a little time here at BOCES, I know for sure that this is the career for me,” he said.