Many times when I see a critique of the relative performances of high schools, the rating is based on the percentage of graduates that continue on to college. I get upset when I think that this metric could demonstrate a lack of effort being put into guiding students towards careers in the crafts.
When I was Engineering Manager at Rome Strip Steel Company I often had difficulty finding qualified personnel to fill open jobs in the maintenance department. I have talked with owners & managers of diverse companies in Central New York that complain that today they can not find enough educated and willing people to fill “blue collar” jobs. Some of these jobs are quite lucrative. For instance there is an independent tractor-trailer trucking company on Route 69 just West of Taberg that has a large sign that states that they are hiring. It also advertises that the pay is $90,000 per year. Also, who hasn’t had difficulty finding a good electrician, carpenter, or plumber?
This all was recalled to me when the Rome Academy of Sciences had a tour of MVCC’s aircraft maintenance school last Wednesday at Griffiss park. Walt Constantini, the director, gave us a tour. Part of that was the discussion of the tremendous opportunity that is available in Rome. This is a relatively inexpensive education to prepare for a trade that is very much in demand and will be even more so as the aging present aircraft maintenance cohort retires. Every one of his graduates have been offered jobs at or before graduation. Their initial pay is at least $40,000 year, after a twelve-month course that costs about $17,000.
Also, if I remember correctly, Walt said that his classes were about half-full. In my opinion no young man or woman in Rome should go without a job. They should hurry to MVCC and enroll in the Airframe and Powerplant Course to prepare for a lifetime of fulfilling work.
— David N. Kobernuss, Taberg