Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Students in the carpentry program at Scioto County Career Technical Center (SciotoTech) in Lucasville are learning exactly what they’ll need to succeed after high school, thanks to a partnership between the school and the Local 437 Carpenters Union in Portsmouth.
“In the last year-and-a-half, or so, the carpenters have been working on a curriculum out of the International that is for vocational school. We’ve been working with them and showing them what it was. Scioto County was actually the first school in Ohio — and also within Indiana and Kentucky, because we’re a district — that has taken that curriculum and is using it for their students,” said Trampass Puckett, of Local 437.
Unions aren’t the only one benefiting from their collaboration with the school. SciotoTech carpentry instructor John Reedy said students are getting a valuable introduction to prepare them for working in the real world.
“If we’re using their curriculum, we are definitely teaching our boys in the direction they want them to go to make them more employable and ready to hire in. They’re just a step ahead,” Reedy said.
He said his students at SciotoTech learn residential and commercial carpentry. To practice their skills, students apply their schoolwork each year by building an entire house. The house is later auctioned by the school to help raise money for the program.
“In the junior carpentry program, they do residential. So they have the opportunity to learn everything from the ground up. The walls, layout, studs, flooring, they hang sheet rock, the roofing, sheeting, everything that involves building and framing a house, they have an opportunity to do it. The seniors this year did a big concrete job pouring concrete to frame a building that’s going to have metal siding, metal roof, metal studded walls, rolled-up commercial metal doors; it’s more in the commercial direction,” Reedy said.
One student, Robert Stacey, has taken the skills he learned in the SciotoTech carpentry program to become a member of the Local 437 Carpentry Union in Portsmouth. After placing second in the Ohio SkillsUSA competition, Stacey now has graduated and is working with a bridge-building company in Columbus.
“(The union) hired him straight out. Actually, he was still in high school when they hired him. They met him through the SkillsUSA competitions and were impressed. He was number one in the region and number two in the state,” Reedy said.
Reedy said the union has been a valuable resource for the carpentry program at SciotoTech, which he said is currently the only program in the entire state of Ohio to teach its students using the union’s own handbook. On Wednesday, Reedy is taking his 40 students to tour the union training facility in Columbus.
“It’s kind of like my training facility, only it’s like five times that,” Reedy said.
Puckett said the partnership between the union and the school provides them an excellent opportunity to help prepare students for joining the workforce, and keeping the best and brightest working right here at home.
“It’s kind of one of those situations where if we’re able to collaborate with them and explain to them the type of skills we think these young adults will need when they graduate, it just helps us help them to prepare the kids. The stuff I’ve been talking to him (Reedy) about — the things they’ll need, the tools they’ll need — he’s actually been pushing them in that direction. He’s explaining that when you get out as a commercial carpenter you’ll be doing a lot of metal frames, concrete work, bridges, working a lot of the power plants and not so much framing houses. The school is helping a lot because they’re gearing them more towards a commercial market,” Puckett said.
For more information about the Scioto County Career Technical Center, and their carpentry program, visit them online at www.sciototech.org, or call them at 740-259-5522.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.