Program Spotlight- Welding
Teacher Spotlight- Mr. Hammond
What is the most significant new or different aspect to your program this year?
“Becoming familiar with our Plasma Cam Machine.”
What are some of the more common career pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS?
“Manufacturing/Fabrication and Construction.”
What is some of the recent technology and/or trends in the profession with which students become familiar?
“The only recent technology would be the Plasma Cam Machine and welding art.”
What unit/topic do students struggle with the most in your program and why do you think that is?
“Quality of the welds, and employability skills. I believe that’s from a lack of maturity. The quality of welds can only improve with practice over time.”
What particular training/unit do employers seek that help students get their foot in the door?
How many years have you been at CPAVTS?
“I have been at CPAVTS for eight years now.”
What was your experience before coming to CPAVTS?
“I was a manufacturing welder and involved in research development for ten years. I was a self-employed, owner/operator in welding construction for ten years.”
What advice would you give students who have completed your program?
“Use the foundation started here at CPAVTS, and build on it with experience and more training.”
Spotlight- Welding Students
Summarize what you learn in your program in ONE SENTENCE.
“You learn how to turn electricity into molten metal that is incredibly strong.”
“How to have a good work ethic.”
“I learned how to safely weld and use shop machinery.”
“The methods and skills to manipulate molten metal, to create a product.”
“How to weld on metal and all of the different processes, safety and different aspects involved with welding.”
What is the hardest part of your program?
“Learning the welding symbols and notation for schematics.”
“Developing the muscle memory needed to consistently make good welds.”
“Going from one type of weld to another.”
“Welding in general is hard work. It takes a lot of practice and the work is very repetitive.”
What is the most fun part of your program?
“Getting to do what I love at school every day.”
“Finding your own technique that works for you.”
“I enjoy the good-natured weld competitions between classmates.”
What is some recent technology you are learning to use in your program that is specific to your profession?
“I am learning how to use stick welders, grinders, and shears.”
“GTAW and Plasma Cam Machine. GTAW is a gas tungsten arc welder or TIG for short, which is really cool and fun to learn. Plasma Cam is a robotic plasma cutter, which is able to cut out very detailed artwork.”
What is your plan for after high school?
“I plan to join the United States Marine Corp, then become a welder.”
“To either go find a welding job or attend Thaddeus Stevens College.”
“I plan on either pipeline welding or working in custom fabrication.”
“I am currently enlisted in the PA Army National Guard. After completion of training, I am looking to play college football.”
“Attain an Associate’s Degree at a college or technical school. I am currently looking into HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College) or Penn Tech.”
“I plan to go to college to become an underwater welder.”
“To join the marines and go to college for engineering. Then I would like to become a welding engineer.”
What is going to be the highlight of the year in your program?
“Making something for the PA Home Builders Show 2018.”
“Just being able to work out in the shop every day with all the friends I have made over the last three years in this program.”
“Building the benches for the builders show and other projects.”
“Running the Plasma Cam Machine.”
What are you proud of learning how to do in your program?
“Welding a construction-worthy bead that can last.”
“I am proud to learn how to weld. It is very useful and a dying trade.”
“Learning how to weld in high school.”
“How to do different processes and weld in different positions.”
Explain a typical day in your program.
“Sign in, gear up, and start welding. Show the teacher your improvements.”
“I come into class and get changed into my uniform. I set up my tools and my welder and then weld until 10:45, leaving myself time to clean up and get changed.”
“We weld, cut, torch, and build… anything that has to do with metal. A lot of practice and training as well.”
How is your program at CPAVTS different from other classes you have had in the past?
“It gives us opportunities for certification and hands-on experience, which will help us to be efficient employees and have successful futures.”
“The reason I came to CPAVTS was because I wanted to learn by using my hands. That is exactly what I do every day. I love that most of my time is learning experience.”
“Excellent instructor, and any piece of equipment you might need is at your fingertips.”
What advice would you give to a beginning level 1 student who is just starting the program or to a student who is considering enrolling in the program?
“Stay in your booth and learn how to weld. Don’t get off task because it’ll be hard after a couple months to keep up.”
“If you want to be a welder, you can’t be afraid of fire.”
“Be ready to do lots of repetitive welding and be open to comments and tips on the quality of your welds.”
“Safety is key when doing anything.”
”It is anything but easy, but you will fall in love with it.”
”I am a level 1, but to a new-comer I would say: listen, absorb, and burn some rods.”
Catching Up With… Annette Comp-Patti, Class of ‘98
“Annette Comp-Patti: Class of 1998 (Big Spring High School, Cosmetology)
Annette is a graduate of Big Spring High School and CPAVTS’s Cosmetology Program. She has been successfully moving up the ladder in her industry since graduating from her program at Cumberland Perry, and we asked her to kindly take the time to fill us in on what she has been up to recently.
Here is what she had to say:
What company or industry do you currently work in and what do you do?
“I currently work in the beauty industry. It is an ever-changing industry influenced by fashion trends. Cosmetologists use skill and creativity to personalize the fashion trends for each individual client. I am a licensed Cosmetologist and owner of Annex Hair Studio. At Annex, I use products that utilize green chemistry to provide a healthier salon service. This lowers the risk of allergies, is also better for the environment and for me as a stylist.”
What other employment have you had related to your program areas at CPAVTS?
“I have worked at several salons as a stylist since graduation, and have co-managed two salons prior to opening my own in 2009.”
What additional education and training did you receive after leaving CPAVTS?
“Trade shows and continuing education through manufacturers of the products we use. Because the trends change constantly, there is always a lot to learn. I take several cutting and coloring classes a year and also learn a lot of techniques by watching specially trained stylists on YouTube. CPAVTS gave me the foundation I needed to be successful in my industry.”
How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?
“It was way more fun and much more hands-on. I spent the morning learning new things that I was interested in and working with other students who shared my interest. It was challenging, but not in the academic way that my core classes at Big Spring were. I’ve used my education from CPAVTS in my daily life.”
How has your industry changed since your time at Cumberland Perry?
“The beauty industry changes with trends in society, so it is always evolving. Aside from the normal fashion and trend changes, I’ve seen the industry move towards improving the quality of ingredients used in products. This helped individuals in the industry stay in the industry longer without feeling the effects of the chemicals we are exposed to at such high amounts.”
What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?
“Mrs. Allison making us do roller sets over and over again and taking my first trip to the International Beauty Show in NYC, where we went to Corelli’s for the best cheesecake I have eaten in my entire life!”
New Instructor Spotlight - Kyle Lehman, Computer Programming
Computer Programming is a course beginning at CPAVTS this year, and with it comes the trials that tend to emerge with such new additions. Instructor Kyle Lehman spent a busy summer preparing the curriculum and his classroom for the school year, and so far has one week of school under his belt. He took some time to share his thoughts on how those first days went and what he hopes to achieve as the program matures:
What did you do before coming to work at Cumberland Perry AVTS?
“I wrote software for about ten years and did a lot of consulting work for tons of different industries—food and beverage, the Department of Defense, marketing. It was a lot of variety!”
What made you decide you wanted to teach?
“I’m passionate about helping students learn, and about helping them learn about an industry that provides a lot of job opportunities. I went on an outreach trip to India where I interacted with students from many different kinds of schools, and I enjoyed that time with them.”
How has your first week been?
“The teaching is going well, I really enjoy it. I’m enjoying every minute of it so far, so the days go by really fast!”
What part of the curriculum are you looking most forward to teaching?
“I’ll be teaching five college courses as part of this class, and logical thinking will be a key part of that. They’ll all be about one core thing—learning to take larger problems and break them into smaller parts.”
What’s the most important thing you hope to impart on your students?
“To teach them relationships. I want to teach them what real respect and interpersonal interactions look like—teach them those social skills that will take them anywhere in life. Anyone can teach math; this is something that sticks with you beyond that.”
Thank you to Mr. Lehman for taking time out of his hectic schedule to provide his insight!
Comprehensive Training Means Comprehensive Experiences for CPAVTS Students
School has started once again, and new students are learning the lay of the land while seniors are back to the grindstone at CPAVTS! With the new year, CPAVTS has seen plenty of changes, from its new Computer Programming course to upgrades made to the Dental Assisting and Advertising Art and Design programs; but one constant throughout every new school year is the variety of experiences our students receive. One of those initiatives is a double-faceted series of field trips that provide students with an inside look at post-secondary institutions and local employers.
“These college tours allow students to see what is expected of them at the post-secondary level,” said Lori Britcher, one of CPAVTS’s guidance counselors.
Typically, students will visit HACC for a “trades day” in the fall and return for campus tours in the spring. They will also visit Pennsylvania College of Technology for campus tours—once in the fall and once in the spring. During these visits, students receive an introduction to the school and a general tour of the campus. After this, they branch off into specific classrooms and laboratory areas associated with their fields. Since level two students are the ones participating in these tours, it gives them insight into college life and helps them determine if continued education is the right path for them.
The employer visits connect students with local businesses and provide an in-depth look at industries related to their program areas. These trips are planned for level one students who have just entered a program at CPAVTS; this means that they receive a closer look at the types of jobs they can pursue after graduation and determine which type of career is the most suitable for them.
“Employers provide us with a tour of their facility, explain what their company does, and offer insight into any certifications or educational qualities they look for in employees,” said Ms. Britcher.
Local industries and post-secondary institutions have been invaluable in CPAVTS’s growth as a career and technical education school. Companies such as Lobar, JPL, and CACCC, Inc. have hosted industry tours for the past two years, and these companies (and dozens more!) provide various other types of support—from participation in the cooperative education program to offering generous donations to our programs to serving as members of our programs’ advisory boards. HACC, Penn College, and many other institutions offer College in the High School or accreditation credits to CPAVTS students, saving them time and money if they choose to pursue post-secondary education.
Tours of local colleges and businesses are just one way our students earn a comprehensive education. From the excellent instruction and hands-on training to industry certifications to employability skills training, CPAVTS ensures each student graduates ready to work and ready to learn. Open House night is coming on November 2, so come find out what our students already know: that with an education at Cumberland Perry AVTS, you can unlock opportunities unlimited!
Union Induction Provides Work Right After Graduation
There is a high demand for skilled construction and manufacturing workers in the Central PA region, and where the masonry trade is concerned, the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsman Local 5 Union is where companies obtain a steady flow of trained bricklayers. A mason that is part of this union is essentially guaranteed job security—and three students in Scott Weber’s Masonry program have passed the entrance exam with flying colors.
Gabriel, a Red Land student; Anthony, a student at East Pennsboro; and Bruce from Susquenita all earned first and second place on the union’s entrance mathematics exam. Anthony, who scored first, is also a cooperative education student working at Stephen F. Peters, Inc. in Newport, PA.
“Everyone goes through a certified mason’s training program, which is about 144 hours over three years,” said Gabriel. “They train you to be skilled masons.”
This training is a state-recognized certification program that teaches everything from job supervision to glass block laying to material safety data sheets; apprentices emerge from this training as certified masons.
There is a shortage of skilled construction workers in Central PA, which includes a need for quality bricklayers, and contracting companies are hurting for qualified employees. “Getting students into the union is something that I think will help,” Mr. Weber said. “These local companies know they have a fresh supply of new, young workers they can draw from the union, and right now the industry is hurting for good, trained workers.
As for Gabriel, his prospects are looking up now that he has gained this opportunity. Not only is he guaranteed steady work, but he has access to great training programs through the International Masonry Institute (which is opening a new location in Harrisburg in the near future).
“I think being at Cumberland Perry gave me an advantage on life, really!” said Gabriel. “It gives you the skills and tools you need to get out there and start working, and I think this apprenticeship will only further that.”