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Month: December 2017

Public Safety Programs Unite to Support Backstoppers

December at South Tech began with a battle! The Law Enforcement and Firefighting/EMT students went head to head in a fierce game of flag football during South Tech’s own version of “Guns and Hoses” to support Backstoppers.

Guns and Hoses is an annual amateur boxing competition between police departments and fire departments that originated in St. Louis over 30 years ago. From its inception, the charitable event has donated proceeds to the Backstoppers organization. Backstoppers has been serving the families of fallen public safety workers since 1969 by covering debts and other financial needs.

Law Enforcement students approached their instructor, Sue Gibbons, in early November to ask if they could arrange their own version of this event by staging a flag football game with the Firefighting/EMT students. Gibbons called the overwhelming staff support for the idea “amazing” and proudly reported that everyone’s efforts resulted in a donation to Backtstoppers of over $300.

Students handled the bulk of prep work required to make this event happen. They measured, prepped, and lined the field at the back of campus, gathered and transported all of the materials and supplies needed for the game, and restored everything afterward. They even helped chauffer seniors back up to the main campus after the event.

Bob Arcipowski, South Tech’s Precision Machining instructor, worked with his students to create a custom trophy for the winning team. Lt. Mike DeFoe and Officer Dave Wright who generously donated their time serving as referees. Finally, Jessica Kettler and Kathy Kummer supported the cause by collecting all ticket sales and entry fees.

Principal Jake Lohse and Assistant Principal Karista Koehler presented the trophy to the victors of this inaugural event, the Firefighting/EMT seniors, who won the game with a final score of 12 to 6.

Congratulations to both teams on a highly successful event.

To learn more about Backstoppers, click here: http://backstoppers.org/.

A Partnership with an Eye on the Future

The Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (HBA), through the launch of their first student chapter, has partnered with North Technical High School in Florissant and South Technical High School in Sunset Hills to enrich the lives of students interested in the trades by offering them first-hand exposure to the world of home building.

“North Tech and South Tech have comprehensive construction programs for high school students, making them optimal partners for our new student chapter. With exposure to different trades throughout their junior year and focusing on a specialty senior year, students graduate ready to work in the trades,” said Dale Black, 2018 HBA President. “Our members are excited to present to the classes and give them a look into the residential construction industry.” Several speakers, representing multiple areas of the construction industry, have already visited both schools and shared their experiences while answering countless questions from our students.

The HBA’s goal is to connect members with students to provide job shadowing, internships, and opportunities after graduation. The hope is that this will create a pipeline of talent for the industry while providing high-paying jobs for graduates.

“A career in residential construction allows students to be creative and build the American Dream for local families. We are impressed with the quality of students at North Tech and South Tech and look forward to seeing our partnership benefit students as well as the many companies who belong to the HBA and are in need of skilled employees,” said Black.

To learn more about the HBA, visit their website at http://www.stlhba.com.

Mercy Technology Services Seeking South Tech Candidates

Our Web and Computer Programming, CISCO Networking Academy, and Information Technology and Graphics students have a new industry partner, Mercy Technology Services (MTS). MTS provides all of the information technology support for Mercy Hospitals and their corporate clients throughout the United States.

MTS has partnered with South Tech to aid in exposing high school students interested in IT careers to the diverse opportunities in their organization and begin identifying students who will be candidates for a new job-shadowing program. As Mercy continues to grow, their need for qualified IT professionals is expanding and South Tech students are learning the skills and earning the certifications required for many employment opportunities at MTS. The program will pair students with MTS mentors who will facilitate student preparation and exploration to support building a strong pipeline of future employees. Our instructors will select candidates based on attendance, interest, and mastery of curriculum skills.

Recently, MTS launched the program by hosting our students over three consecutive Wednesdays for tours led by Lead Service Technician Jessica Garner. Garner brought students to several departments including Project Management, the MTS Network Operations Center, and the Service Center. Each department shared information with students that tied their daily responsibilities to the curriculum in our programs and answered questions. In the service center, students were allowed to have a brief shadow experience fielding calls as they were coming into the help desk.

More information about our IT programs can be found here http://southtechnical.org/programs/. To learn more about Mercy Technology Services, click here https://www.mercytechnology.net/.

PPHSA Students Explore Barnes Jewish Hospital

Our Pre-Professional Health Sciences Academy (PPHSA) students spent a day in the real world of medicine during their recent visit to The Barnes Jewish Hospital campus in the Central West End. As guests of Health Sciences Advisory Board member and BJC School Outreach Health Education partner Jennifer Irvin, students had access to several areas including General Surgery Lab and Research, Children’s Hospital Nursing Simulation Lab, The Ronald McDonald House, BJC Media Services Studio, and the BJC Wellness Center.

SSD has an exclusive partnership agreement with BJC that provides South and North Tech students with unique opportunities to engage with the professionals, environments, and experiences at BJC hospitals and medical centers. Through tours, guest speaker visits, advisory board participation, internships, and employment opportunities, BJC is investing in our students in multiple ways. “We find that when we work with these students they are college ready and/or ready to start a job here,” said Irvin. The partnership serves to foster a pipeline of work-ready employees and preferential status is given to Tech graduates who choose to stay in the St. Louis area and apply through BJC’s Human Resources department.

Irvin conducted the tour for our students, during which she shared volunteer opportunities and emphasized the vast selection of career opportunities in healthcare. She encouraged students to register for the Human Resources database as well, so they could be kept apprised of openings and news.

While touring the General Surgery Lab and Research area, students were introduced to laparoscopic surgery instruments. Students performed simulated laparoscopic surgery using the instruments in exercises that challenged them to carefully move small items into cups. Students were then introduced to a da Vinci surgery robot that allows surgeons to perform surgeries using much smaller incisions.

PPHSA students had numerous, quality conversations with several professionals during the visit. This is a common occurrence during BJC activities as their professionals embrace the opportunity to mentor and encourage our students. Both the Health Sciences program and the PPHSA programs are afforded several opportunities to volunteer in events and demonstrations throughout the year as well. Recently, three PPHSA students, Anna Goodman, Kristen Eads, and Jacob Brauner, participated in Operation Jack Frost as mock victims in an emergency preparedness drill. “They did a phenomenal job,” said Irvin. She said their knowledge of anatomy and physiology and their training from the program were real assets. “Anytime we need volunteers, I ask North and South Tech first,” said Irvin.

South Tech’s industry partnerships provide our programs with roots. Allowing our students engage with professionals brings significance to their efforts and gives them more than glimpse of their bright futures. Our partnership with BJC will undoubtedly continue to enhance our programs and their workforce and we appreciate their investment in our schools.

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