CTE ‘March Madness’

“March Madness” has a whole new meaning in the ‘Business Information Systems’ program!  During the month of March, 22 certifications were achieved by its students.  Seven (7) Internet Core Concepts certs, seven (7) Communication Skills for Business certs, and eight (8) International Computer Driver’s License (ICDL) certs were awarded.  See below for the list:

  • Gavin Buttermore—New Brighton Senior—IC3 Living Online
  • Janiya Edwards—Big Beaver Falls Junior—IC3 Living Online
  • Evan Jones—PA Cyber Junior—IC3 Living Online
  • Zachary Kolich—Blackhawk Junior—IC3 Key Applications
  • Zachary Kolich—Full IC3 Certification (3)
  • Richard Nartey—Ambridge Senior—IC3 Living Online
  • Justice Pisano—Central Valley Junior—IC3 Living Online

BIS students are not missing a beat, even though the pandemic intermittently took us out of the classroom.  Resilient, hard-working, and tenacious are three adjectives that best describes those who certified!  So far, since the beginning of the school year, 42 certifications were earned by BIS students!  One more marking period to go, and we are not done yet!

R.I. Lampus Donates to Masonry/Bricklaying

John T. Bliss & Jeff Hertweck, proudly display an R.I. Lampus banner and arrange for donated construction materials to our Masonry/Bricklaying program

Industry partner to not only our Masonry/Bricklaying program but also to our Greenhouse/Landscaping program, R.I. Lampus donated additional materials, once again, to our CTC…

According to both John T. Bliss, Sales of Brick & Stone Veneer Products and Jeff Hertweck, Concrete Products Division, they want to see our students succeed in their chosen field of study and in order for that to happen, they felt they needed the best in supplies. 

Learning this trade affords you the opportunity to run your own business,” said Bliss. Hertweck adds, “Masonry contractors know to contact us for good materials whether it is block, brick, mortar, or just to find information on materials. We want to be that contact for the BCCTC students because one day, they may be contractors. This partnership with Masonry/Bricklaying and Greenhouse/Landscaping is a win-win.”

Last year, during the initial lock down, this company was one of our first to conduct a virtual presentation to our seniors of careers to consider in the industry.  A similar presentation may be offered again to our current seniors as they decide what path to follow after graduation.  However, in the future, these gentlemen want to set up tours for our students and teachers of one of their manufacturing facilities and supply sites once restrictions for such activities are lifted. 

Current Masonry/Bricklaying instructor, Arnold Shaner of ‘Redco Masonry’, is thankful for the donation. He stated, “I have worked with Lampus for many years and am hopeful that my students see the value of not only the donation but also the opportunities that a company like Lampus can provide to them.  Working for Lampus is not just a job… it’s a career.

R.I. Lampus Company is the largest manufacturer of concrete block and hardscape products in Western Pennsylvania. The company has seven manufacturing facilities and a fleet of over 40 heavy-duty delivery vehicles serving the region.

In addition to Concrete Masonry and Hardscape Products, Lampus is one of the largest tri-state distributors of clay brick and stone veneer products. If interested, you can view their product lines by visiting their website or by stopping by one of their showroom locations.

THANK YOU, R.I. Lampus for the materials and your partnership!

To the right is a ‘red brick’ typically used as the exterior of a home or commercial building.

Below, the 8″ red block is block that could be used as above grade masonry walls or the foundation of a structure. The gray block is 1/2″ jamb block which would be used for an elaborated window opening in a wall.

Local Employment Opportunities

ALLData Partnership with BCCTC’s Collision Program

Two of the major challenges facing today’s collision repair shops are the exponential increase in vehicle complexity due to advanced technologies like ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems) as well as the threat of liability that may result from not repairing vehicles properly according to OEM procedures.

That’s why it’s especially critical for collision repair students to have access to the most up-to-date tools – and that includes software. ALLDATA is the industry’s oldest and most popular software solution for OEM-accurate repair information, trusted by more shops than any other and used by 400,000+ professional technicians in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and several European countries.

When students have access to ALLDATA through their education curriculum, they have the advantage of learning and training on exactly the same system that the pros use, which gives them a distinct competitive edge once they’re out in the marketplace.

ALLDATA offers everything students need for OEM-accurate vehicle repairs, including:

· Instant access to the industry’s most complete and up-to-date OEM collision repair information, with coverage for 38,000 vehicles, 95% of all vehicles on the road today

· Collision OEM procedures for sectioning and structural repairs, handling of new materials, panel replacement, sensors, and more

· Full mechanical procedures: TSBs, full diagnostic procedures by DTC code, parts & labor, drivetrains, suspension, and more

· 300,000+ interactive color wiring diagrams (in addition to OEM diagrams) ALLDATA also offers a certification program, the CAIS (Certified Automotive Information Specialist) Program. It’s essentially a comprehensive test that demonstrates how well students can use ALLDATA. It gauges their ability to navigate the program with an “open book” approach, during which students can access ALLDATA to find specific repair-related information.

The CAIS program is available to schools as well as current ALLDATA customers. Currently, over 2,000 schools include ALLDATA in their curriculum, including high schools, community/junior colleges, and technical schools.

Not only does the CAIS program provide certification and knowledge for its students, it also provides helpful supplemental curriculum for the instructors. Schools can use features like ALLDATA’s Description and Operation information and wiring diagrams to educate their students on more than just ALLDATA’s product.

“We are very excited to partner with the Beaver County Career & Technology Center for a trial-run of the new ALLDATA collision knowledge test for our CAIS program,” said ALLDATA President Satwinder Mangat. “The technician shortage is a real issue in the automotive repair industry, and we’re committed to putting resources towards addressing that. We’re expanding our support for education programs to help ensure that students have the knowledge and training they need to hit the ground running in the marketplace, including a solid grasp of the importance of following the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure the safe and accurate repair of vehicles.”

For more information on ALLDATA, please go to: https://www.alldata.com/en.

THANK YOU, ALLDATA!

Featured Teacher in Collision Repair Technology

Mr. David Pallerino, Collision Repair Technology Instructor

Throughout the first nine weeks of school and now through the second nine weeks for the 2020-21 academic year, Beaver County Career & Technology students have been attending their elected programs online, regardless if they are a new or returning student. Students, parents, and other educators continue to ask, “How are you teaching career and technical education virtually?” Thankfully, here at BCCTC, our teachers, professionals from their own respective industries, are creative and came up with some incredible ways for their students to get engaged with a virtual learning platform for CTE.

Let’s introduce our next Featured Teacher from BCCTC, Mr. David Pallerino, Collision Repair Technology Instructor. From the beginning of the year, Mr. Pallerino decided to have his students use I-Car PDP-EE curriculum, as it was already accessible online. This available information is the same fundamental theory that an industry professional would use when taking courses for professional development to help advance in their career.  

Students are covering and virtually learning the following in I-Car PDP-EE:

  • The basics of automotive safety
  • An overview of the collision repair process from estimation to repair
  • The various parts of the vehicle
  • Tools and equipment used during repair work

In addition to I-Car PDP-EE, the students are also involved in two other disciplines. The first of the two is SP/2 training in a course entitled, ‘Advance Auto Parts – Parts Identification Course’.  This course would enable students to ‘talk industry talk’ instead of using terms like ‘thingy’, ‘gizmo’ or ‘whatchamacallit’.  This would help them use the professional language they need to know to speak to another industry professional in the trade. The second discipline is working with ALLDATA, a software program that will allow students to prepare to test for another industry credential.

While the students were briefly at school during the second nine weeks, they were able to do more hands-on corresponding activities that revolved mostly around a car door.  Some of their work included:

  • Removal of parts from the frame of a car with the emphasis on a car door
  • Removal and installation of a window regulator
  • The adjustment of hinges of the striker to adjust the door properly
  • Installation of a car door and the proper function of opening and closing the door

And now?  Collision students will continue to go through their I-Car modules while their education continues to be virtual.  Upon returning to the program, students will be getting ready to learn how to prep and refinish work in the paint booth.

Mr. Pallerino had this to say about his students, “I am in awe of their ability to be resilient and roll with the punches.  They have been listening to me every day and I give them a lot of credit. The information is difficult under ideal circumstances and we all know these are not ideal circumstances. Kudos to my students!”

Hey, Collision students…  We are looking forward to you returning to BCCTC, when that day comes, to see you in that paint booth! Until then, stay safe!

‘Featured Teachers’ in Masonry/Bricklaying

Left is Mr. Shirley, Masonry Instructor from ICTC and Right is Mr. Shaner, Masonry/Bricklaying Long-Term Sub at BCCTC

Throughout the first nine weeks of school for the 2020-21 academic year, Beaver County Career & Technology students had been attending their elected programs online, regardless if they are a new or returning student. Students, parents, and other educators have asked, “How did you teach career and technical education virtually?” Thankfully, here at BCCTC, our teachers, professionals from their own respective industries, are creative and came up with some incredible ways for their students to get engaged with a virtual learning platform for CTE. However now, during the second marking period, when permissible by the district, some of our students are back in the building! Let’s find out how it’s going…

Prior to the COVID outbreak, BCCTC’s Masonry/Bricklaying instructor had an unfortunate accident and has been homebound ever since. Beginning this year without our instructor was extremely difficult, especially since we began the year virtually. Wanting to make sure our Masonry/Bricklaying students were able to continue their education in this field, our Administration initially sought the help of 11-year teaching veteran, Masonry instructor, Mr. Christopher Shirley from Indiana County Technology Center. Mr. Shirley took on our students virtually while he was teaching his own in Indiana County. THANKS, Mr. Shirley! This allowed time for our Administration to find a long-term substitute who had adequate experience in the industry.  

Meet Mr. Arnold Shaner, who has 42 years in the Masonry Industry, most of which is from the Bricklayer’s Union. Because of a friend who taught Masonry at another CTC, Mr. Shaner would sub for him on occasion for a change of pace and enjoyed the experience teaching high school students.  At this stage in his career, he feels that he wants to pass along his expertise to those who have an interest in pursuing the trade. Mr. Shaner said, “These students have no idea just how much money a good masonry contractor can make. If they apply themselves and can follow directions, regardless if they are accepted into the Union or find a contractor to work with, they will do just fine for themselves.”

Mr. Shaner operates and still works for his own business called ‘Redco Masonry’. Some samples of his work are below. Right now, he is going through the basics with BCCTC’s Masonry/Bricklaying students, wanting to understand the level these students are ‘building to a line’ but they seem to be very happy to be in class with trowel back in their hands. Zaire Ellis, a senior from the Ambridge Area School District had this to say, “Mr. Shaner has to be the best masonry sub out there! The theory part was hard but being in the lab helps me to understand what we were taught online. I plan to work in this field someday and this class is helping me get to my career goal.”

First off, we wish Mr. Lamont well has he continues to recover. Secondly, Mr. Shirley, MANY THANKS AGAIN for helping our students through the full-time virtual instruction and your continued support to Mr. Shaner. Finally, a HUGE WELCOME to Mr. Shaner!  We all look forward to seeing the student’s projects!

Below are just a few samples of Mr. Shaner’s work in the Masonry Industry…

Residential Fireplace using Cultured Stone
Residential Patio & Outdoor Kitchen using Stone
Residential Pavilion with Exterior Fireplace using Pavers with Stone Piers
Back View of a Residential Home using Brick Veneer

‘Teacher Feature’ in Cosmetology II & III

During the first nine weeks of school for the 2020-21 academic year, Beaver County Career & Technology students attended their elected programs online, regardless if they were a new or returning student. Students, parents, and other educators have asked, “How did you teach career and technical education virtually?” Thankfully, here at BCCTC, our teachers, professionals from their own respective industries, are creative and came up with some incredible ways for their students to get engaged with a virtual learning platform for CTE. However now, during the second marking period, when permissible by the district, some of our students are back in the building. Let’s find out how it’s going…

Our next ‘Featured Teacher’ from BCCTC is Mrs. Dolores Mason, Cosmetology II & III Instructor and an Advisor for NTHS or National Technical Honor Society.  Since our Cosmetology program is State approved curriculum, Mrs. Mason worked hard to make sure that the time her students spent online, counted towards their required hours. For those who are unaware, any Cosmetology student must attain 1250 hours of theory and hands-on instruction in order to be eligible to take the State Board exam.

Prior to the first nine weeks, she attended two workshop meetings to help make a list of standards that could be met on a virtual platform. She said, “For the first nine weeks of school, our theory coverage standards were provided from the PA State Board of Cosmetology as many hours are set with students working on practical applications, as well as theory. Due to COVID, we lost valuable face to face instruction. Theory learning standards were set with the cooperation of instructors and state officials from across the state prior to the start of the year. Once the list of theory subject standards was listed, I chose ‘Infection Control, On The Job’ and ‘Principles of Hair Design’. These chapters that we follow in the Milady Standard Cosmetology book allowed students to process questions and ideas of what laws that follow OSHA and FDA.”

Many students like Mrs. Mason, love the “hands on approach to learning” especially if the plan is to work in a service industry. But being subject to having to learn computer skills as well, so that there would be the records for the hours to be given for completed theory work…  Mrs. Mason comments, “I am proud of MANY students that have stepped up and really applied themselves learning how to apply those important computer skills as well.”

Some of the Cosmetology II & III students have aspirations of working in or owning their own salon.  So, Mrs. Mason took the students on a virtual field trip to her own salon that is attached to her home where she continues to work part-time. They were told what they needed to expect when working in a salon and maybe things they should consider if they choose to own a salon of their own someday.

Besides instructing students to remain flexible because of the inconsistencies with COVID 19, the classes they had online about principles of hairstyling gave students insight of what to look for when cutting and styling hair. Students were excited to know that when they returned to school that they would begin immediately into hair cutting using mannequins first, before cutting the hair of a client. Students will be able to exercise the concepts of cutting angles in the hair and styling it too. Students are issued a mannequin in which they will execute the haircuts that they learn about… the 0, 45, 90 and 180-degree angle styles.  Sounds a little like geometry, doesn’t it?  That’s because it is using an application of geometry in real life.

Mrs. Mason says, “I am looking forward to the excitement and satisfaction students experience when they actually cut and style their mannequins to the directions provided and achieve the desired style, here at the CTC. Gearing up for the next virtual learning experience we will have online, students will use old mannequin heads so that we can review bones, nerves, muscles and practice massage and facial techniques when we go back to virtual learning.”

Welcome back Cosmetology II & III students! It is so good to see you at your chairs in the CTC’s salon!

‘Teacher Feature’ in Carpentry

Throughout the first nine weeks of school for the 2020-21 academic year, Beaver County Career & Technology students had been attending their elected programs online, regardless if they are a new or returning student. Students, parents, and other educators have asked, “How did you teach career and technical education virtually?” Thankfully, here at BCCTC, our teachers, professionals from their own respective industries, are creative and came up with some incredible ways for their students to get engaged with a virtual learning platform for CTE. However now, during the second marking period, when permissible by the district, some of our students are back in the building! Let’s find out how it’s going…

Our next Featured Teacher from BCCTC is Mr. Dave Liptak, Carpentry Instructor and active member of the Beaver Valley Contractors & Suppliers. Deeming Fridays as ‘Hat Day’ starting in the first nine weeks during virtual instruction, Mr. Liptak covered much theory that consisted of:

  • The Basic Application to the Field of Carpentry
  • Best Practices and Rules to Follow in the Industry
  • Expectations of Contractual Work
  • General Framing
  • How and Where to Apply for Permits
  • How to Properly Speak to a Customer about ‘Prints’
  • Surveys using a Builder’s Level or Transit
  • The Importance of Water Levels
  • How to Budget and How to Write a Check

Mr. Liptak, a former Carpenter with the Union, works hard on the engagement of the students as well, online and in person, to make them feel as though they belong. He tries to work with them in whatever way possible to help them achieve their career goal in the field of Carpentry. In order to do this, he has transformed some of his review sessions into a game show in which students can steal points from other students if they do not have the proper answers. Questions can be about anything like ‘tool safety’, ‘square foundations’ to proper calculations using the Pythagorean Theorem when planning to build a roof or a set of stairs to code. Another way to make the students feel welcomed? Nicknames.  Nicknames have become an important part of Carpentry in which Mr. Liptak has become ‘Lip’. And what do the students think of this?  They love it, plain and simple.

Ashton ‘Heartache’ Hartsock and Dajuan “Scooter’ Schoedel, both of Freedom Area School District, are new to the program this year. 
 
Ashton commented, “Don’t get me wrong, I do like being here much better than having virtual class but I don’t feel as though we missed out on the knowledge part at all. We covered so much theory about Carpentry when we were at home, that I felt like I knew something already when I walked into class last week.”
 
Dajuan said, “Online instruction was okay but I like being here much more because I know I am a hands-on learner. It’s great to be here now!” 
 
Mr. Liptak says, “Anyone who wants to be a Carpenter has to know the basics of this field before actually building something, so virtual instruction for me and my students wasn’t an issue at all. As a matter of fact, students this year will walk away with more theory than before, which is a good thing! If you don’t know the basics, how can a builder make the building structurally sound? Knowing the basics is being safe and safety should be everyone’s concern, first and foremost.”
 

Carpentry students, we are ALL looking forward to seeing your projects this year and welcome you back!

Thousands in Scholarships Awarded

Makayla Parkes, Health Occupations senior from New Brighton. Not even that mask could hide Makayla's smile...
Makayla Parkes, Health Occupations senior from New Brighton School District, is on her second binder of college acceptance letters and scholarships. This future health professional student has accumulated a combined total of $79,000 in scholarships for her first year of school, ranging from $4k to $21,500 per year, most of which are recurring. WOW!
 
Currently, Ms. Parkes has been accepted to the following colleges/universities (and those with an * awarded scholarships):
 
  • Community College of Beaver County
  • Clarion University of Pennsylvania
  • * Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
  • * Point Park University
  • * Robert Morris University
  • The University of Akron
  • * Thiel College
  • * University of Maine at Presque Isle
  • * Waynesburg University
  • Youngstown State University
Makayla comments, “Being enrolled in Health Occupations has pushed me harder to do better in all my classes at New Brighton. Because of this program, I was able to establish my career goal and that has made a huge difference for me academically.”
 
Makayla’s main goal is to be an RN and she already plans to pursue her BSN. She mentioned that her clinical rotation time will help her to determine a working environment and specialty in the health industry.
 
What do her personal circle of supporters think? Makayla mentioned just how proud her mom is and how she gets excited to see all the different packets and letters arrive in the mail. Ms. Theresa Cairns, Health Occupations Instructor and Ms. Izz, Health Occupations Instructional Assistant, are also proud of Makayla. Ms. Cairns said, “The opportunities open to Makayla do not surprise me with the type of student she is. She is dedicated and hardworking. She is helpful to others and involved in the program, especially HOSA (the program’s student organization) and volunteering when she can. I am very proud of her and know she will make a great decision among those opportunities!
 
Makayla, we at BCCTC, think this is some sort of record for the program and couldn’t be more excited about your future! No matter what school you select, without question, you will be successful and eventually be an AMAZING medical professional! All the best to you!

‘Teacher Feature’ in Business Information Systems

Ms. Renee DiGiacomo, Business Information Systems Instructor and FBLA Advisor

Throughout this first nine weeks of school for the 2020-21 academic year, Beaver County Career & Technology students have been attending their elected programs online, regardless if they are a new or returning student. Students, parents, and other educators have all asked, “How are you going to teach career and technical education virtually?” Thankfully, here at BCCTC, our teachers, professionals from their own respective industries, are creative and have come up with some incredible ways for their students to get engaged with this new learning platform.

Our next featured teacher from BCCTC is Ms. Renee DiGiacomo, Business Information Systems teacher and FBLA Advisor.  Ms. DiGiacomo’s program is actively affiliated with Bender Leadership Academy and Job Genius from Express Employment Professionals.

“The students have been knocking the ball out of the ballpark,” Ms. DiGiacomo said. She continues, “They know how to interact virtually and they are just being wonderful with the online learning process.  Even their attendance is amazing and I couldn’t be more proud of my students! For them to show up alert and ready to work as they have been, proves to me that they are wanting to be a part of the CTC and this program.”

So what have the students in Business Information Systems been doing?  They started this marking period with Communication Skills for Business, i.e., CSB.  CBS entails:

  • Verbal, written or virtual communication methods
  • Ways in which to analyze the effectiveness of the message to the target audience
  • Addressing ethical and legal issues for proper communications
  • Problem solving when dealing with business issues

The students also went on a virtual field trip to see Pittsburgh Technical College or PTC, where they visited the campus and had an overview of different programs related to the student’s interest.  In addition, they were also made aware of the articulated credit they could receive from PTC should they enroll as five BIS graduates are currently enrolled there now.

After the field trip, one of those alumni students, who is now majoring in Computer Science at PTC, spoke on the importance of joining FBLA in BIS and encouraged the students to work as hard as possible to achieve the certifications offered in the program. Why? For good reason! He was one of two recipients of the FBLA scholarship and received articulated credit from PTC!

Due to the amount of theory presented to the students as this nine-week period comes to a close, they will soon be working on obtaining the following industry certifications when they return to the classroom next week:

And because of the partnership with PTC, students will have a Cyber Security Specialist doing a virtual experience with them from his lab.  Also on the agenda—a virtual field trip to Inventionland, a Pittsburgh-based immersive work environment and idea incubator where projects are brought to life through creativity.

BIS Students!  We are so looking forward to having you and all the other students return to BCCTC next week!  It seems like whether your career path is cyber security, communications, computer science, international business or customer service, ‘Ms. D’ has you working hard to find your talent in the business world. Stay safe!