Diesel technology students get fired for their futures
More than a dozen recruiters and company representatives spent a day talking with the Diesel Technology/Heavy Equipment students in Mike Schultz’s class at the Orleans Career and Technical Education Center.
Students spent their classroom time walking through the stations that featured companies such as Hunter Peterbilt, Milton CAT, Bobcat of Buffalo, Landpro Equipment, Monroe Tractor, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, New York State Department of Transportation, Regional Equipment, Inc., Empire Tractor . , Relco Systems, Reid Petroleum, Trucking Association of New York, Henrich Chevrolet and NAPA.
“It was a great experience for my classes to be able to talk to the representatives,” says Schultz. “These are potential employers for them and it gives them a chance to talk to them directly and do some informal interviewing. It’s good for them to see the career opportunities that are available to them and what kind of benefit packages they offer.
Samuel Kusiniski, service manager of Milton CAT, said the career fair was an excellent event.
“I like doing this kind of stuff. Mr. Schultz gave his students a great experience with all the representation here. As a prospective employer it’s good for us to see what kind of skills the students have and how they interview.”
Chris Birner, service director at Heinrich Chevrolet, added that there was a lot of good interaction with the students “and many of them have great qualifications.”
“There was a lot of talk about careers and what we were looking for to be part of our team,” Birner said. “We want them to have fun, but be safe and work hard. It’s great that places like BOCES exist because the future is really skilled trades. That’s what our economy needs.”
With Birner was Raymond Gorski, one of his employees and a graduate of the Diesel Technology/Heavy Equipment program.
“I graduated from here in 2019. Going to BOCES really made me grow up,” Gorski said. “Mr. Schultz taught us what we needed to know and pointed us in the right direction. In my senior year, I capstoned at Heinrich and it was a great experience. It put me on track to where I wanted to be with my career. I ended up at Monroe Community College and then Heinrich sent me through GMASEP (GM Automotive Service Education Program) which was amazing. They also provided me with great training and a great mentor.”
Schultz says he was very proud of how his students participated.
“A lot of the people here told me how impressed they were with the students. They said they’ve been to a lot of schools and our students are some of the most mature and well-mannered they’ve had. Ever encountered,” said Schultz.
Schultz said that as an educator, he has found it rewarding to see what is taught in the classroom give students opportunities to learn job skills.
And then, he said, “events like this also give them an opportunity to improve their interpersonal and interview skills,” Schultz said. “I am very grateful to the companies that participated in the event and gave the students such a positive experience as they begin to think about their future career plans.”
Julia Gaiser, customer support with LandPro Equipment, said the fair also helps businesses prepare for the future.
“The kids are very sweet and very polite. Many of them want to go right into the workforce after graduation,” Geyser said. “It helps us see what they want out of a career and helps us align to what those needs are.”