Catching Up With… Frank B. Kramer Jr., Class of ‘91

“Frank B. Kramer Jr.: Class of 1991 (Cumberland Valley High School, Masonry)Alumni Spotlight- October 2017

Frank is a graduate of Cumberland Valley High School and CPAVTS’s Masonry Program. He has pursued another avenue outside of his skill set since leaving CPAVTS, but is still actively engaging in the Masonry field as his side business. He has even passed his love of the trade onto the next generation.

Here is what he had to say:

What company or industry do you currently work in?

“I currently have a career in Traffic Incident Management for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.”

What is your job title and what do you do?

“The Operations Center is a 24/7 emergency dispatch ‘911’ center, and a traffic management center. It is combined into one facility for the entire roadway system. Duty Officers handle a wide variety of calls relating to incidents on the roadway, and dispatch resources such as: maintenance, fire, emergency medical services, state police, tow trucks, and hazardous materials teams for customers involved in motor vehicle accidents, etcetera.”

What other employment have you had related to your program areas at CPAVTS?

“Since graduation, I have continued practice within the masonry trade and do small side jobs. I have a son who also graduated under CPAVTS Instructor, Dave Williamson, in the Masonry program. I help him as he is a full-time stone mason.”

What additional education and training did you receive after leaving CPAVTS?

“All of my additional training in masonry has come from field experience. No better way to learn this trade then getting out in the environment!.”

How was Cumberland Perry different than your regular high school?

“I spent the morning half of my day at home school before being bussed to CPAVTS. This is when my day became great. I loved the masonry trade and had the best instructor/mentor.”

How has your industry changed since your time at Cumberland Perry?

“Equipment has stayed the same as in the tools and such, however safety rules and regulations have become more detailed, as they should. Safety should always be the number one priority.”

What is your favorite CPAVTS memory?

“Learning from the best Instructor out there and becoming close friends and hunting partners with the man himself, Mr. Dave Williamson. I had a great time at Vo-tech in general; I made lifelong friends—from all different school districts—that I still interact with today! Since 1991!”

CPAVTS Students are Career-Ready and Filling the Gaps in the Construction Industry

The need has never been higher for skilled workers in the construction field; employers are constantly on the hunt for people to fill the demand. CPAVTS students graduate with certifications and skills needed to excel in the workplace, and it’s for this reason that many local businesses hire our students after graduation.

 

“Right now, I can almost guarantee employment for my students as long as they’re willing to work hard and develop their skills,” said Jody Snider, Carpentry instructor at CPAVTS.

 

Local companies are in desperate need of workers, but they also need individuals who show aptitude; through a combination of hands-on training and industry certification offerings, and state-of-the-art equipment, CPAVTS students are equipped for just that. Even students seeking to pursue further education leave prepared: Not only can they earn college credits while they attend CPAVTS, they can also support themselves with high-paying jobs while they study. Each of the five programs in the construction industry cluster vary widely in their techniques, but the common thread is the maintaining of an up-to-date curriculum to produce future employees who are more than ready to enter the workforce.

 

“This is hard work,” said Scott Weber, Masonry instructor, “and it’s not work that everyone is capable of—or willing to—do. It’s important that we train people with a strong work ethic who know how to handle the various duties required on the job site.”

 

Through advisory committees made up of local professionals and their own research, instructors ensure that their programs meet industry standards. This often leads to exciting new additions to the equipment available to students, such as a Total Station (a computerized leveling and layout device) and a hydroponics lab in Horticulture and Landscaping. The end result is a steady stream of students who are passionate about their field and ready for whatever path they choose to follow after graduation.

 

Said Nick, a Horticulture student from South Middleton School District: “I personally am going to college for hardscaping architecture, but a lot of us go right to work—in fact, I know two people who have jobs [secured] after they graduate.”

 

All programs provide students with industry certifications vital to gaining employment, but there are other opportunities available. Some gain apprenticeships or full-time jobs through cooperative education assignments or local builders’ unions, like Gabriel, a Masonry student from East Pennsboro who passed his entrance exam to gain work through the Allied Craftsman Local 5 Union. The instructors, too, put considerable time and effort into making sure their students are prepared for the future.

 

“I provide them with what they need to progress,” said Electrical Construction and Maintenance instructor Jason Baney. “Students in my program are interested in commercial wiring, and they leave with a good foundation to move into an apprenticeship or gain more specialized training at a post-secondary school.”

 

Their paths vary greatly from one to the next, but these up and coming graduates are capable of filling a void that has opened in many job markets—and for great pay as well! An education at a “vo-tech” isn’t what it used to be; it’s an open door for anyone who wants to guarantee themselves a successful future.

 

 

 

 

 

Filling a Local Need for Skilled Workers in the Construction Trades

The need has never been higher for skilled workers in the construction field; employers are constantly on the hunt for people to fill the demand. CPAVTS students graduate with certifications and skills needed to excel in the workplace, and it’s for this reason that many local businesses hire our students after graduation.

 

“Right now, I can almost guarantee employment for my students as long as they’re willing to work hard and develop their skills,” said Jody Snider, Carpentry instructor at CPAVTS.

 

Local companies are in desperate need of workers, but they also need individuals who show aptitude; through a combination of hands-on training and industry certification offerings, and state-of-the-art equipment, CPAVTS students are equipped for just that. Even students seeking to pursue further education leave prepared: Not only can they earn college credits while they attend CPAVTS, they can also support themselves with high-paying jobs while they study. Each of the five programs in the construction industry cluster vary widely in their techniques, but the common thread is the maintaining of an up-to-date curriculum to produce future employees who are more than ready to enter the workforce.

 

“This is hard work,” said Scott Weber, Masonry instructor, “and it’s not work that everyone is capable of—or willing to—do. It’s important that we train people with a strong work ethic who know how to handle the various duties required on the job site.”

 

Through advisory committees made up of local professionals and their own research, instructors ensure that their programs meet industry standards. This often leads to exciting new additions to the equipment available to students, such as a Total Station (a computerized leveling and layout device) and a hydroponics lab in Horticulture and Landscaping. The end result is a steady stream of students who are passionate about their field and ready for whatever path they choose to follow after graduation.

 

Said Nick, a Horticulture student from South Middleton School District: “I personally am going to college for hardscaping architecture, but a lot of us go right to work—in fact, I know two people who have jobs [secured] after they graduate.”

 

All programs provide students with industry certifications vital to gaining employment, but there are other opportunities available. Some gain apprenticeships or full-time jobs through cooperative education assignments or local builders’ unions, like Gabriel, a Masonry student from East Pennsboro who passed his entrance exam to gain work through the Allied Craftsman Local 5 Union. The instructors, too, put considerable time and effort into making sure their students are prepared for the future.

 

 

 

 

“I provide them with what they need to progress,” said Electrical Construction and Maintenance instructor Jason Baney. “Students in my program are interested in commercial wiring, and they leave with a good foundation to move into an apprenticeship or gain more specialized training at a post-secondary school.”

 

Their paths vary greatly from one to the next, but these up and coming graduates are capable of filling a void that has opened in many job markets—and for great pay as well! An education at a “vo-tech” isn’t what it used to be; it’s an open door for anyone who wants to guarantee themselves a successful future.

Program Spotlight- Welding

Teacher Spotlight- Mr. Hammondprogram spotlight- sept 2017

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?

“Welding Certifications.”

 

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.”

“Overhead welding.”

“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

Alumni Spotlight- Sept. 2017

“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!”