Partnership Results in Donation, Advice and Job Offers

A cement truck, an employment offer, and some sound advice from graduates.

Callanan Industries delivered all three to the Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE) this winter as representatives from the international company paid a visit to the Diesel Technology program.

The main reason for the visit from the Albany-based operation was to donate a 2,000 Oshkosh cement truck. The truck will be used for years to come by students as they learn the “ins and outs” of diesel engine repair, electrical/electronic theory, computerized control systems and maintenance and repair of truck chassis, steering, suspension and braking systems.

“We no longer had a need for the truck and I bring in some CTE students for internships, so I saw the donation as a win-win,” said Justin Shannon, general manager of equipment for Callanan.

CTE grad shares experiences, encourages students to stick with their education

“Pay attention to what they teach you and learn,” said Dustin Hernandez, a 2013 graduate of the Auto Trades program at CTE. Hernendez is now a shop technician for Callanan. “You have one of the best programs you can get. Pay attention and stick with it, get your foot in the door when you are 18 and you will have a great career.” 

High local demand for mechanics and drivers

“We are having trouble hiring people for mechanics and driving,” said Dan Broomhall, vice president of operations for Callanan. “It’s getting to the point where those with the knowledge and skill are going to be able to name your price.”

CTE graduates have an edge 

Kevin Cox, a 2004 diesel trades graduate, said a graduate can climb the rungs of a career ladder. After three years with Callanan, Cox is shop foreman in the company’s Selkirk location.

“Going to CTE taught me a lot, but more importantly, I was able to turn work-based learning at H.L. Gage into a full-time job when I graduated. That was an excellent opportunity,” Cox said.

Cox spent 10 years at the Albany truck sales operation before going to another employer and then started work at Callanan, where he began as a mechanic before moving on to be a technician and now a foreman.

“CTE gives you a foot in the door, an opportunity. I wasn’t good sitting in a class. I wanted to get out there and turn a wrench. Just like these kids, I wanted to do something when I learned and that kind of attitude pays off,” Cox said.