Many of the Orleans/Niagara BOCES career and technical education (CTE) classes encourage students to accept either shadowing (non-paid internships) or capstoning (paid internships) opportunities. Work Based Coordinator Susan Francis says these experiences are invaluable to CTE students:
“It gives them a glance into a real-world work environment and they get to work with individuals with varying degrees of skill and different jobs to see what appeals to them. Plus they can see what it is like to work as a team to complete a project. We are very grateful to all the companies that are willing to work with our students and mentor them as they get ready for graduation and what their next step will be, whether it is college or going directly into the workforce.”
Recently, Electricity/Electronics students Dylan Gworek (Lewiston-Porter) and Michael DuMond (Starpoint) shadowed at General Motors Components in Lockport. They got to work with the company’s engineers and see what their jobs entailed. Project Engineer Charlie DePasquale says being a former BOCES student himself, he was glad to help out current BOCES students.
Dylan said the experience showed him a different aspect of engineering. He remarked, “It helped me to know that I definitely want to further my education in college for engineering. The man I shadowed with, Abraham, was very intelligent and a great teacher for the two weeks I was there. Abraham is a controls engineer at GM. His job entails him to design new things in order to make machines work and be safer for the GM employees on the line of the factory. Working with him allowed me to see behind the scenes and I got to meet with vendors in order to get new parts for machines and observe how the engineers code machines.”
Dylan and Michael say they are very grateful to their Electricity/Electronics teacher, Bob Fritton at the Niagara Career and Technical Education Center, and all he has taught them. “I also really want to thank GM for allowing us to shadow,” said Dylan, adding, “It greatly helped me understand what I am going to need in order to succeed in this field.”