BOCES students lend a hand for Schoharie CSD capital project.

Capital Region BOCES students gain workplace experience with Schoharie capital project

A bulldozer works SCHOHARIE – Capital Region BOCES students are gaining valuable workplace experience working on the Schoharie Central School District’s capital project.

Students in the Heavy Equipment Operation, Maintenance & Repair program are spending several days each week operating equipment while assisting with the $25.9 million project. The project makes significant renovations to the elementary school and athletic fields; Capital Region BOCES students are working on the athletic fields, leveling the ground and grading dirt.

Work-Based Learning Coordinator James Haas said the project is proving to be an excellent opportunity for students.

“The students are doing various tasks, including operating different pieces of equipment under the direction of Project Manager Shawn Gathen. The work for our students will continue until the completion of the project,” Haas said.

Students said they appreciate the experience.

“It’s a really good experience. I am having fun and learning. It’s perfect,” said Jah-Paul Brooks, a senior in the program from Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District

“It’s really fun and a great experience learning what it’s like to be on a job site,” added the program from classmate Avery Knight, who attends Duanesburg.

“Working for a larger company, getting real life experience to prepare me for the time after graduation is a great opportunity,” added fellow senior Ashley Moorhead, who attends the program from Middleburgh.

Students in the Heavy Equipment program learn the skills necessary to enter the construction industry or pursue further education in college or technical school. They  learn everything from maintenance skills and how to construct a building to equipment operation, including use of a plow, dozer and front-end loaders.

Capital Region BOCES Managing Program Coordinator-Business & Community Partnerships Nancy Liddle said students taking part in a capital project for a school district is a special opportunity.

“This allows them to give back to the education system that has afforded them the opportunity to build a career while also allowing them the chance to exercise the career skills they need to be successful,” she said.

Schoharie Central School District Superintendent Dave Blanchard said the district appreciates the effort of the students and is happy to provide the opportunity for work-based learning.

“Schoharie Central School District is delighted to have BOCES students working to support our current capital improvement project. Students have been using excavation equipment to complete site work and move our project forward. This work-based learning experiencehas been a benefit to both our students and the students from other districts who participate. We thank both the participating students and BOCES for all they are doing for our district.”