Program Spotlight- Carpentryprogram spotlight 2017 image 1

Teacher Spotlight- Mr. Snider & Mr. Anderson

What is the most significant new or different aspect to your program this year?

“Adding sustainability practices and conservation to our program, and educating students on new practices and materials.”

“As for NEW, I’m still getting some 9th graders and more female students which is non-traditional for this program. We are also doing Penn College Now, which is college in high school.”


What are some of the more common career pathways your students take when they leave CPAVTS?

“Most of our students go directly into the workforce. Some choose to enter post-secondary education or go into the military. There are many opportunities in residential and commercial construction with very good wages and benefits.”

“Careers pathways students tend to take from this program are construction worker, carpenter, laborer, iron worker, steel erector, bridge worker, or post-secondary education.”


What particular training/unit do employers seek that helps student get their foot in the door?

“Basic skills are a must, but you need to be committed to being at work every day, on time, follow directions and be able to pass a drug test.”

“OSHA 10, CPR/First Aid Training and Certification on the JLG equipment are all offered here, and help students.”


What is some of the recent technology and/or trends in the profession with which students become familiar?

“Our newest technology is called a total station. This is a computerized measuring device used for laying out buildings or an entire development.”

 “The upperclassmen are starting to use a Total Station and they also have the opportunity to get their operator’s license for the JLG equipment.”


program spotlight- dec. 2017 image 2What unit/topic do students struggle with the most in your program and why do you think that is?

“It would probably be estimating, because of all of the math involved.”

“Math- it is taught so many different ways and students do not use it every day so they forget how to do it. Other than that I would say face-to-face communications, due to too many types of technology used on a daily basis. They don’t seem to be able to talk to someone unless they use a phone or other types of electronic devices.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“We have an essential question, every day, related to the unit/topic we are covering. Then a short lesson/discussion on the E.Q., followed by “hands on” work in the shop to practice the tasks involved in the unit/topic.”

“A typical day would entail students coming in and changing into their uniform, answering the essential question, spending theory time to discuss, and then spending shop time working on projects. Then Social Studies for my students, and then back to the shop to continue working. Then they clean up and change because it’s time to head back to school in the morning or home in the afternoon.”



What advice would you give student who have completed your program?

“Always give your best effort. There is no such thing as “can’t”, there is only “won’t”.”

“I would say they should continue to work hard to achieve goals they have set for themselves. Hard work has never killed anyone.”


How many years have you been at CPAVTS?

“I’ve been here 23 years.”

“I have been employed here for 7 years.”


What was your experience before coming to CPAVTS?

“Ten years teaching at a private school- Carpentry. Residential/Commercial Carpenter for two companies and then self-employed for 14 years including having my own business, while teaching at the private school.”

“I graduated from Southern Hunting County High School, I am currently taking classes through Penn State and HACC.  I worked in Commercial Construction for 13 years with Palmer Construction, and Frederick Concrete/Industrial Rebar. I did Residential Construction for six years with Foremost Industries, Brim Builders, and Allison Homes & Construction. I have done both sides of construction with all phases of building. I started as a laborer/carpenter and worked my way up to Assistant Superintendent in Commercial Construction.”


 Program Spotlight- Students

Summarize what you learn in your program in one sentence.

“Basic carpentry skills for every real world situation/job in construction.”

“You can learn how to build every part of a house.”

“You learn how to frame by codes.”

“I learned finish and rough carpentry from the bottom of the house to the top.”

“What I have learned in this program is to properly make blueprints.”

“It is important to measure twice, cut once.”

“We learn all about foundation, PA one call, blueprints and different power tools.”

“Following directions is very important.”


What is the hardest part of your program?

“Learning the math for the techniques.”

“Dying impact batteries.”

“The math that makes everything work together.”

“The hardest part for me is getting everything done on time and up to code.”

“Remembering all the different ways to lay out all the different types of rafters.”

“Drawing and understanding blueprints is the hardest part in my opinion.”

“The hardest part is getting projects down amongst distractions.”


What is the most fun part of your program?program spotlight dec 2017 image 3

“Getting to use the power tools.”

“Working in the shop, the builders show projects, and working alongside the instructors.”

“The most fun part to me is creating something. Taking raw materials and making something out of it.”

“Being able to go to the PA Home Builders Show 2018.”

“The most fun part in this program is doing something and seeing the finished product.”

“Building things and being out in the shop is the best part.”

“Real life projects and working with Mr. Anderson.”



What is some recent technology you are learning to use in your program that is specific to your profession?

“A transit- which is a level mainly used for surveying and building.”

“Computers for graphing and laying out houses.”

“For us as first years, I would say the circular saws and the miter saws.”


What is your plan for after high school?

“Continue schooling at Penn College for construction management.”

“I would maybe like to go to college for business, and then someday become a self-employed contractor.”

“My plan after high school is to get employed somewhere with a well-paying job.”

“I’m hoping to get a job offer from Lobar Commercial Construction and after a while go and work residential construction.”

“Go to college at Thaddeus Stevens.”

“I plan to do a four year internship at Kinsley Construction.”

“Go right into the job field and start working and making money.”

“My plan is to be able to work in a Carpentry Job, I already have a job lined-up with COR Construction and I’ll probably try to get other trade certifications.”


What is going to be the highlight of the year in your program?

“I believe it will be the PA Home Builder’s Show project.” (This seems to be the most popular response!)

“Being able to come back and show off what I learned from my Co-op job.”

“It will either be the builders show or the projects.”


What are you proud of learning how to do in your program?

“Developing the skills to build anything out of wood.”

“Flooring is one of my biggest ones, but framing is fun because you get to see a house being built.”

“Building a building from the ground up and also learning how to do finishing work.”

“I am proud of learning how to lay out stairs.”


“Learning how to build a duck cope.”

“So far, I am proud of everything I am learning.”

“Learning how to draw a blueprint.”


Explain a typical day in your program.

“A typical day: 1) Timesheet  2) Talk about the essential question  3) Get tools and get to work.”

“Come into the shop and answer the EQ, then go to work on numerous projects on the shop floor.”

“ A typical day starts out with coming into class to do and EQ, followed by an assigned task/ongoing task and then getting out on the shop floor to complete that task.”

“A typical day right now is learning how to make new cuts.”

“We come into class, get changed and do our EQ, Mr. Anderson tells us what we will be working on and then we work.”


program spotlight dec 2017 image 4How is your program at CPAVTS different from other classes you have had in the past?

“Hands-on work that allows you to build physical and mental skills.”

“Carpentry allows to you apply what you learn. It’s hands-on. For example in math I can’t just do a physical thing that helps me understand what I just learned.”

“You have to directly apply what you learn through hands-on actions and you must put forth the effort to succeed.”

“This program will allow me to get a job/career right out of high school.”

“There is nothing you learn in this class, that you didn’t NEED to learn.”

“It is harder to work consistently hard, because the work is more demanding. It is nice to get out of a classroom routine, and work with your hands, doing what you like to do.”

“I think I enjoy it a lot more because the teachers are usually fun and the other students have the same passion as me.”


What advice would you give to a beginning Level 1 student or a student considering enrolling in the program?

“It is physical work and you need to be responsible.”

“Stay focused. Learn and retain as much information and skill as you can.”

“You need to have a good work ethic.”

“My only advice would be to stay on task and don’t goof off.”

“Don’t settle for being lazy! Try your hardest.”

“Pay attention. You need to want to be here, otherwise you’re just taking the spot of someone else who does want to be here.”

“Take pride in your work and work hard!”

“Make sure you try to have good attendance because it is very easy to fall behind.”

“Do everything Mr. Anderson tells you to do, and you will have a good time.”

“You have to be patient and try your best.”

“I would say it is fun, but it is still work! The class can be hard sometimes, so make sure you want to be here.”

“It’s not that hard…as long as you listen to your teacher and follow the rules. It’s a good program if you want to know the right way and the safe way to build a house or anything else.”