MEDINA — Diesel Equipment Technology teacher Mike Schultz says he is grateful for the partnerships that his Orleans Career and Technical Education Center class has. Not only do these partnerships expand students’ opportunities for learning additional skills, they open the students' eyes to different career paths.

Recently Schultz’s class hosted: outreach trainers Ed Wallace and Tim Gregoire from SUNY Cobleskill; Randy Librock, fleet supervisor from Relco Systems; Tom Lewis, branch manager from Monroe Tractor; and, from the New York State Department of Transportation, Motor Engine Manager William Chiro and Supervisor Randy Shoemaker.

“Our guests were fantastic with the students,” Schultz said. “Not only did they bring in equipment and vehicles, they did a lot of interactive, hands-on training with them. It gave the students a real chance to interact with professionals in this field and make business contacts for internship opportunities and jobs after graduation.”

This was the first time that the DOT participated in the internship program. Many students in the class were able to set up internship or shadow opportunities with the represented employers.

“It is great to have these beneficial relationships with different businesses,” Schultz said. “It is a definite win-win since they are looking for good employees and my students are looking for careers. ... My students really got a lot out of the experience and really enjoyed getting a view into careers.”

Lisa Bielmeier is the director of public relations for Orleans/Niagara BOCES.

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