Shenendehowa senior in the driver’s seat of own future thanks to Capital Region BOCES

A student in blue coveralls and a cap leans over an engine block.
Stephen Noradki, of Shenedehowa, is committed to the task as he leans over an engine block.

A Shenendehowa senior with a passion for repairing vehicles found his future at Capital Region BOCES.

Stephen Noradki will graduate from the Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical Education Center Diesel Tech program in June and, despite still being two months from graduation, already has a job and a career.

“I was already hired by Kenworth Northeast for their apprentice technician program. I went into their shop, told them I was in the BOCES Diesel Tech program and they offered me a job,” he said.

Once he walks the stage for graduation, the quiet senior plans to go full-time with the full-service dealership that has eight locations across the Northeast.

Noradki is expected to be part of a National Signing Day celebration on Tuesday, May 7 at the Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical Education Center – Albany Campus. He, along with as many as two-dozen other students, will sign during the 9 a.m. event letters of intent to launch their careers with BOCES business partners.

“It’s pretty awesome to have a job in my field already,” he said.
Noradki credits BOCES with expanding his options.

“I have always had a passion for working on vehicles and I knew that was what I was going to do with my life. I figured it would help me to get into some of the bigger engines, so I chose the Diesel Tech program to teach me how to work on them,” he said.

By doing so, he gained a better appreciation for school.
“Working on bigger engines here [at BOCES] motivates me to come to school more than just sitting at a desk and taking notes,” he said.

The Shenendehowa senior has already proven himself to be good at his chosen trade, having won the regional SkillsUSA competition in March.
Officials at Kenworth say they are impressed by the young man and value their partnership with Capital Region BOCES that produces such skilled workers.

“We have been working with Capital Region BOCES for several years on developing students into professionals. Most recently, to better serve and engage students, we have set up an apprentice program. Stephen was one of the first in the program and has far exceeded our expectations,” said Rick Crumlish, Albany Branch Manager for Kenworth Northeast.

“Stephen brings a great attitude every day and a willingness to learn,” he added. “Stephen has shown us that with the right programs at school and investments by employers to help these students get trained, the future looks very bright!”