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Month: May 2018

Welding Program Earns Emerson Grant

When it comes to welding technical education to lifelong careers, it’s hard to find anyone more qualified than Mr. Adam Holt, Welding instructor and Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award winner. Mr. Holt and his South Tech class were presented with the $5,000 award by Emerson’s Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, Mr. Dave Rabe, on Wednesday, May 16th.

Emerson Electric honors 100 educators each year in the St. Louis area with the Emerson Excellence in Teaching Award. Those educators are offered a unique opportunity to apply for Emerson’s Gold Star Grants through a highly competitive process.

Mr. Rabe addressed the Welding class when he presented the award. He explained that Emerson Electric selects award recipients who have demonstrated a commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills in their curricula and instruction.

Mr. Holt credits his students for having earned the award. He stated, “The reason I am able to win awards like this is because I have such great students. My students come here and work hard every day.”

The funds from the grant will be used to purchase a handheld plasma cutter and welding machine. These state-of-the-art tools will enable the South Tech Welding students to better prepare for college and career readiness leading to high-demand and lucrative welding careers.

Following the award, the students were treated to a cake reception in honor of their teacher, Mr. Holt. The students are excited to be on the cutting edge of technology and are looking forward to a bright future, thanks to Mr. Holt and his Emerson Gold Star Grant award.

Competition in a Box Hosted by HBA

On Thursday, April 26, students from North and South Tech  Home Builders Association of Greater St. Louis (HBA) student chapter competed in “Competition in a Box,” a one-day event designed to introduce students to the home building industry. The event was held at Payne Family Homes and included opportunities to network with representatives from industry, a catered lunch, and generous gift bags for each participant.

The competition is designed in a “trivia” format and involves complex questions about blueprints and construction methods. The HBA’s goal for the student chapter 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.

North Tech brought 3 teams of competitors:  Team 1:  Jessica Myers, Maurice Hall, and Keyshawn Outlaw; Team 2: Cedric Perry, Donovan Shivers, and Desmond Lee; Team 3:  Pereze Dodd, Vandeja Keller, and Kobe Dozier.  South Tech brought 2 teams:  Team 1:  Jordan Ware, Chris Rousan, and Joe Peck; Team 2:  Joe Lynch, Brycen Williams, and Logan Sheehan.  Four Rivers Career Center also brought a team.  Students who were interested in Construction Management were invited to compete, but all have a variety of pathways they plan to pursue after graduation.  Some are already enrolled in college courses in Construction Management, some are planning to begin college this fall, and others are interested in joining the Carpenter’s Union or going straight to work.  All are leaving high school with the skills and industry recognized credentials sought by the prospective employers who co-hosted the competition.

Atlas 46, DeWalt Tools, Home Depot and St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council sponsored prizes for the winners. Other sponsors included ABF Security (breakfast), Spire (lunch) and Associated Bank (beverages). Members of the HBA’s Professional Women in Building Council donated gift cards and items for participating students.

The competition’s first place winner was Four Rivers and South Tech’s two teams each placed second and third. Both North and South Tech students volunteered to participate in this challenging competition and impressed sponsors and industry representatives.

Auto Body Cruises STL Shops

Auto Body students were given a 4 shop tour of St. Louis last month which included a visit to the Classic Car Studio (CCS), the filming location of the program “Speed is the New Black” which airs on Velocity.  Owner of CCS, Noah Alexander, showed the students around the entire shop and allowed them to get up close views of some of the vehicle restorations that have been featured on the show.

Giving this kind of access and attention to our students reinforces one of the goals Alexander had for  “Speed”.   He was asked by the online publication Hagerty what he hoped audiences would take away from show when it premiered in 2017 and he replied, “This is an industry where it’s hard to find people who are good with their hands and who can create and build things—and finding these people gets harder every year. Part of the reason for this, I think, is that the education system doesn’t really provide a lot of opportunities for kids who might be inclined toward these kinds of skills. I know when I was in school I never knew that this was something I could be doing. I figured I would be in a cubicle somewhere selling life insurance, or maybe I’d be a doctor or a lawyer. I just knew that if I didn’t have some kind of corporate future, I’d be a nobody. I really want to inform another generation of kids that they can do this. Let’s show kids what’s possible. If they want to go to college, great. If not, that’s fine, too. They can go become a skilled craftsman or a tradesperson or an entrepreneur. They can do really well at those things in life.”

Students also toured two Schaefer Collision Centers and Central Auto Body and discovered South Tech grads at both locations.  At Schaefer, students were hosted by 2014 graduates Bradley Beckham and Kyle Neely.  Both have been employed by Schaefer for several years.  Additionally, Neely hosts his own Facebook site called “Blue Collar Kyle” in which he does demo videos and hosts discussions on auto body repair.

Central Auto Body is owned by South Tech graduate Chris Becker who gave our students lots of information about upcoming needs in industry and opportunities for our students.

Industry tours and visits like these help South Tech ensure that our students graduate with real world skills.  To learn more about openings in our transportation programs, visit our programs page at http://southtechnical.org/programs/. Additional information about the sites visited can be found at the following links:  CCS – http://www.classiccarstudio.com/speedshop/, Schaefer Auto Body – http://www.schaeferautobody.com/, Central Auto Body – https://www.carwise.com/auto-body-shops/central-auto-body-rebuilders-inc-maplewood-mo-63143/469791

Giving Back: Construction Students Help Injured Officer
Students from South Tech’s Construction Trades and Floor Layers Middle Apprenticeship programs recently spent a day giving back to our community by working on renovations at The Forder House in South County.  The home is owned by Officer Rob King, a 19 year veteran of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, who had been working on renovations of the home for the past two years. Officer King was injured on the job in January and has not been able to return to work nor resume his work on the home. Junior Alex Jacobi, a Construction student from Oakville, learned about the King family’s needs and asked instructor Dustin Meyer if there was a way he and his fellow students could help.  With the assistance of Paul Petrus, a day of service was coordinated in which our senior Construction Trades and Floor Layers Middle Apprenticeship classes worked on a variety of projects in the cabin renovation, including tile and drywall installation and some demolition. According to stlco.com, The Forder Log Cabin at 2225 Telegraph, dates back to at least 1852.  It is part of a complex which includes a main house, a cabin, and a stone storage building. The complex is named for Samuel W. Forder who purchased the land in 1852, although the cabin may have already been on the site at the time.   Working on the historic cabin in service of Officer King was a special experience for our students.  Meyer said the students appreciated getting to see the craftsmanship of the cabin saying, “The actual log cabin is still there but is mainly covered up, and there is an addition added on to the home as well. So from the outside, it looks like an ordinary house. There were a few walls inside that are gutted down to the original log cabin frame where we were able to see the structure. We all thought it was really cool and have never seen anything like it before.” Our students plan to return to the site before the year’s end to complete their tiling projects in the cabin’s bathrooms.   This project is one of many acts of community service South Tech students perform each year as they consistently use their talents and skills to help others.   SaveSave

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