Assemblymember Chris Tague and a representative of Assemblymember Phil Steck’s office presented Capital Region BOCES on Friday with a proclamation declaring October Careers in Construction Month in New York state.
“When I was 16, I didn’t really have a school mindset and then a guidance counselor told me I should try BOCES. It was the best thing for me. I wouldn’t be where I am today, a New York state assemblyman, had it not been for BOCES,” said Tague.
The assemblymember represents the 102nd Assembly District and graduated from the Capital Region BOCES Schoharie Campus in 1987.
“BOCES taught me responsibility, how to work with my hands and operate equipment, and it kept me in school,” Tague added.
The presentation was made during the Careers in Construction Month Celebration which drew nearly two dozen businesses, professional organizations and unions to the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical Education Center – Albany Campus, recruiting the next generation of skilled workers.
Students met potential employers, took part in demonstrations and learned about the various careers that exist in the construction industry.
Capital Region BOCES offers eight programs at the Career & Technical Education Center that provide a solid foundation of skills and experience for students pursuing careers in this burgeoning industry.
“Events like this are highly important to us,” said Daren Gulliver, training director for the Bricklayer & Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Local 2 Union. “People who come to us from BOCES already have the mindset to go into the trades and come into our program with a trade proficiency and the right mindset.”
Dustin Cuoco of Adams Heating and Cooling concurred.
“We like to draw our workforce from BOCES, and we like the opportunity to show the kids some of the things they can look forward to, like the service truck and the new equipment,” he said.
Alvin Gamble, a senior mechanic for the utility, spoke with hundreds of students throughout the day, offering not only information on National Grid careers, but also providing life advice to the students.
“If you take advantage of the opportunities that are out here today, you will have a good life,” he said, going on to stress the importance of a firm handshake, politeness and looking people in the eyes while speaking with them.
“You don’t have to be perfect. We really want genuine, enthused, motivated men and women to join us,” he said.
Careers in Construction Month is a nationwide campaign held every October to increase public awareness of construction careers, inspire the next generation of craft professionals and display the positive impact a fulfilling career in construction can have on individuals and communities.
Students said they enjoyed having the ability to meet the variety of employment options within the industry.
“I like this event because it shows you all of the opportunities that exist out there with the skills we have learned,” said Katelyn Burtt, a senior from Berne-Knox-Westerlo.
“It’s a pretty cool opportunity to meet employers,” added Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R) junior Virendra Lillchan from Schenectady.
Business, education and labor partners on hand included Kamco Supply New England; Robert H. Finke & Sons Inc.; Milton CAT; Curtis Lumber Co.; Carver Companies; Tri-City JATC; National Grid; Operating Engineers Local 158; New York State Department of Transportation; Appolo Heating; Kenworth Northeast; Crisafulli Brothers; Adams Heating & Cooling Inc. and Bricklayer & Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Local 2 Union
For more information on how Capital Region BOCES is celebrating Careers in Construction Month, go to Construction business partnerships help students, adults build their futures – Capital Region BOCES.