Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Job With a View: BSTC Electricity and Cabling

Yes, this fabulous photograph is of one of our graduates!  Caleb Hobbs, Class of 2013, finished the Electrical Lineman Institute at Caldwell Community College in North Carolina, leading to a career opportunity with Duke Electric and the ability to work at dizzying heights.  A completer in our electricity program, Caleb, like many other graduates, has found a job with relative ease and continued to grow through additional training.  Instructor Mr. Aaron Payne shares that other students have also expressed an interest in lineman school after seeing the example of their colleague Caleb.

BSTC offers Electricity and Cabling I and II, and our completers benefit from strong school-industry relationships in securing employment,  From the classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014, we have alumni working at Southern Air, B and W Nuclear Technologies. Maddox Heating and Air, Duke Energy, Woolridge Heating and Air, Areva, Moore's Electric, and other companies.  Students are also completing further training at community colleges and Virginia Technical Institute, and we've recently heard from three students from the class of 2012 who are completing their Virginia Electrical Journeyman's license.

Writing back to instructor Mr. Aaron Payne, graduate Dakota Gaither '12 comments about the relevance of our program: "You are a great teacher, and if you wouldn't have showed me how to navigate a code book, it would have been a lot more difficult than what it already was."  Mr. Payne's recent honors include his selection as a recent BSTC Teacher of the Year.Thanks, Mr. Payne, for helping so many students learn to keep our lights on and our companies moving forward!


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

From Bedford to Anywhere: Powerful Articulation Agreements in BSTC Automotive Programs

You may know that BSTC runs two highly-useful series of automotive classes:  Automotive Technology I and II and Collision Repair Auto Body Technology I and II.  Students in these classes have the opportunity to learn valuable skills--and valuable credentials for the real world.

In Automotive Technology, students can complete an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Association student certification in 9 areas (brakes, steering and suspension, electrical system, and engine performance).  Students also have the opportunity to test for the Virginia State Inspection License, often in demand for hires at auto repair facilities across the state.  The classes, offered as part of Bedford County Public School's Program of Studies, have articulation agreements with Ohio Technical College (OTC), University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH), and Universal Technical Institute, allowing students to receive credit at these industry-acclaimed technical institutions with no dual enrollment cost. These agreements have the potential to save families and students many expenses and allow for early program completion.  Mr. Mark Mathia, program instructor, has pursued these agreements over the years.  In discussing the development of the program, Mr. Mathia notes, "I encourage future technicians to go to a good trade school to further their education and to realize that this industry is advancing by leaps and bounds, especially in the area of computer-aided diagnostics and total vehicle functionality.  They need to learn that you must be a 'lifetime learner' always seeking to stay on the forefront of changes or you will be left behind.  However, going back to the expense of trade schools, I needed to find a way to make post-secondary education less expensive, give the students credit for the work they did in my program, and get them into the workforce ahead of the other graduates.  Articulation did that."  Our program is definitely well-respected; in fact, it's accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

In Automotive Body Repair, students learn skills that can assist them in careers such as collision repair technician and auto body painter--and also insurance adjuster, body shop owner, metal fabricator, and welder.  Mr. Witt's students learn to perform repairs--and also to estimate their costs, providing valuable business insights.

At present, Mr. Mathia and Mr. Witt have 7 alums from the 2013-14 school year at UNOH alone. What an accomplishment for these students, and what a great savings!

For more information:
Mr. Mark Mathia, Auto Tech, mmathia@bedford.k12.va.us
Mr. Troy Witt, Auto Body, twitt@bedford.k12.va.us