On April 19, 2023, Questar III BOCES teamed up with the Capital Region Workforce Development Board and the Rensselaer County Career Center to host a panel discussion between Capital Region unions and students preparing to enter the workforce. The panel was attended by students from the Automotive Technologies, Construction Technologies, Heavy Equipment Repair and Operations, and HVAC/R and Green Technologies programs at Robert H. Gibson Technical School in Troy, NY.
Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin opened the panel with encouraging remarks for students. He shared some brief insights into the needs for skilled workers in the county, encouraged students to use their experience with Questar III BOCES to propel them into their future and thanked them for taking the steps towards becoming the next generation of skilled workers.
The panel was moderated by Adam Slagle, Business Services Coordinator for the Capital Region Workforce Development Board, and consisted of representatives from 5 area unions:
- Rich Bogardus, Training Coordinator, North Atlantic States Carpenters Training Fund/North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters Local Union #291
- Aaron Donnelly, Marketing Representative, Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Local Union #83
- Kevin Fuller, Membership Development, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers IBEW #236
- Randy Lambert, Business Representative and Organizer, Eastern Millwright Regional Council/United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local Union #1163
- Tom McKiernan, Council Representative, North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters/United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local Union #291
Union members touched on a variety of topics, including insights on their own unions and career paths, the benefits of joining a union, opportunities to becoming a journeyman and general life advice as students prep for graduation this June. They also shared information regarding their application and hiring process, the education process while being an apprentice, and the long-term benefits to joining a union early in their life and career. Students were engaged in the conversation and asked questions on various topics including healthcare, layoffs, and travel.
On behalf of the students at Robert H. Gibson Technical School, Questar III BOCES would like to thank our 5 panel guests, Adam Slagel from the Capital Region Workforce Development Board, Joseph Mazzariello from the Rensselaer County Career Center, and Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin for being part of this event and supporting our students.