Program Spotlight- Logistics and Warehouse Management
Teacher Spotlight- Mr. Knouse
What is the most significant new or different aspect to your program this year?
“Developing internship opportunities for students to gain experience in a large distribution center.”
What are some of the more common pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS?
“Forklift operators, order pickers, and dock workers.”
What particular training is offered that employers seek, that in turn helps students “get a foot in the door”?
“Forklift training and use of RFID- Radio Frequency Identification Scanners.”
Explain a typical day in your program.
“Receiving packages from UPS and FedEx shipments, loading and unloading tractor trailers, “picking” orders for teachers and practicing using the forklifts.”
What unit/topic do your students seem to struggle with the most, and why do you think that is?
“Performing the inventory on our stock, and for most of them it’s a lack of math skills.”
How many years have you been at CPAVTS?
“This is my 16th year at CPAVTS.”
“What was your experience before coming to CPAVTS?
“Cartage Supervisor for a large express delivery company. Warehouse Manager for an industrial supplier. Training Instructor for the U. S. Air Force.”
What advice would you give students who have completed your program?
“If you are able to operate a forklift, you will never be out of a job in Cumberland County.”
Program Spotlight- Students
Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.
“I learn a lot from my teacher and he is nice to us.”
“I learn about warehousing and the equipment used in a warehouse.”
“I learn how to work in the warehouses safely and know all the dangers within warehouses.”
“I learn proper lifting techniques and how to drive different forklifts.”
What is the hardest part of your program?
“Learning the different types of packages.”
“Wrapping boxed pallets.”
“Inventory is the hardest part.”
What is the most fun part of your program?
“Delivering packages throughout the building.”
What would be some recent technology that you are learning to use in your program?
“The scanner. Because you can put purchase order numbers into the computer. It is a lot easier than doing it on paper.”
What is your plan for after high school?
“After I graduate, I plan to go into the marines for four years, for combat logistics. I then plan to go to college to study something that relates to Logistics.”
“Get a house, a job, and then settle down to raise a family.”
“The plan right now is to get a job and save money.”
“I want to get my certification in Logistics and then work in a warehouse for a shipping company.”
What will be the highlight of the year in your program?
“Getting to go out on Co-op.”
“Getting my forklift certifications.”
“Hopefully it will be getting named Student of the Quarter.”
What are you proud of learning how to do in your program?
“The process of receiving and delivering packages.”
“Putting PO’s in the computer.”
“How to work with others.”
Explain a typical day in your program.
“Doing a little bit of classwork, including a warm-up, in the beginning of the day, and then for the remainder we are out working in the warehouse.”
How is your program at CPAVTS different from the classes you have had in the past?
“The class is more hands on, and it’s a longer period of doing what you are interested in, and learning a life skill.”
“I’ve never had a class like this, you really go in depth about the topic and skills.”
“It is real work compared to classes at your other school.”
What advice would you give to beginning Level 1 students starting out or to a student considering enrolling in the program?
“Pay attention, be respectful, and don’t drive like a careless person. You can learn a lot.”
“It is a lot of fun. As long as you are not afraid of hard work you will be fine.”
“Just work hard and stay determined.”
Senior Seminar Prepares Students for Work and for Life
CPAVTS prides itself on preparing its students to land good jobs after high school, but getting a job and keeping a job are two completely different things. That’s why, new this school year, all seniors attending Cumberland Perry are required to attend Senior Seminar, which seeks to make sure students not only gain employment, but also maintain it.
“The goal is to make them productive members of society,” said Lindsey Franson, the Senior Seminar instructor. “There are about twenty class sessions throughout the school year. The first half focuses on employability skills—interviewing (and how to dress for it!), constructing a resume, professionalism in the workplace, and other topics that will help them succeed. The second half is all about financial literacy—how to interpret paychecks, how to make a budget, how to live on your own, and other items.”
Students are treated as they would be in the real world, which means they’re responsible for all of their work without as much prodding as they might have received from their teachers in the past. But of course, that doesn’t mean Mrs. Franson isn’t standing by to offer advice or guidance! She also makes sure that her voice isn’t the only one her students hear in the classroom.
“In the second half of the year, I bring in guest speakers who are experts in their fields. For example, this year we have a representative from PSECU scheduled to talk to students about investing their money wisely, and Mr. Berkstresser (our Cooperative Education coordinator) will be offering my students the instruction he gives to his co-op students on understanding their paychecks, as well as understanding and paying taxes.”
If you think this course sounds dry despite its usefulness, think again! Students, like Dhara from Cumberland Valley School District, are excited to learn more about the topics covered.
“I’ve started recognizing that I think I have a lot of references, but I actually don’t. It’s encouraged me to develop better relationships with my teachers and classmates,” said Dhara. “And I’ve only had one job. I put together a resume, but I’m hoping to get my CNA after this, so learning how to actually write a resume is exciting!”
As part of the first half of the year, seniors put together a portfolio, which compiles all of their references, accomplishments, and other items needed to construct a good resume. Mrs. Franson helps them assemble the best possible portfolio by coordinating with the students’ program instructors and learning what certifications and other accomplishments they’ve achieved. In the second half, students create their own budget to live on and they hunt for apartments they can afford online so they not only have the tools to excel in the workplace, but also to thrive while living on their own. The ultimate goal of the class is to treat the students like adults so they are prepared to be adults after they graduate.
“I’m most interested in learning about managing finances,” Dhara said. “I’ve never had to do that before, but I will soon; it will be really useful to me!”
Whether they go straight into the workforce or pursue postsecondary education, CPAVTS wants to ensure that all of its students are prepared for wherever life takes them. Through Senior Seminar, they won’t just be ready to work and learn—they’ll be ready to take on any challenge!
October 2017 Rotary Students of the Month
Haley Weakland is a Cumberland Valley High School student in the Dental Assisting Program. She is a member of Health Students of America (HOSA), where she serves as Vice President, and is currently employed with Mack Hospitality. She is part of the Mini-thon at Cumberland Valley High School, has earned the Student of the Quarter commendation at CPAVTS, and made Honor Roll (also at CPAVTS). Haley plans to pursue her career further by attending Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), and continuing her education in Dental Hygiene.
Anthony Cleary is a Big Spring High School student in the Electronics Technology Program. He is an officer in SkillsUSA at CPAVTS; as part of his involvement in the organization, he took 1st place in the SkillsUSA State Competition, and 12th place in the SkillsUSA National Competition. He has been named Student of the Quarter at CPAVTS and made Honor Roll. Anthony plans to further his career by attending the Pennsylvania College of Technology and majoring in Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology.
Hailey Dunn is a Red Land High School student in the Culinary Arts Program. She is a member of the West Shore School District Color Guard and CPAVTS’s National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). Her education at CPAVTS has also resulted in serving as a Student Ambassador, earning Student of the Quarter, and making Honor Roll. Hailey plans to follow her career pathway by applying to Penn Tech, Johnson & Wales, IUP, and the Culinary Institute of America. She will major in Culinary Arts.
Catching Up With… Frank B. Kramer Jr., Class of ‘91
“Frank B. Kramer Jr.: Class of 1991 (Cumberland Valley High School, Masonry)
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.