Future Craftsmen plot careers in welding, electrical and HVAC
The news that Lansdowne High School student Jacob Bentley won a Future Craftsman Award brought joy to Dolores Ellis.
As chair of the school’s Career and Technology Education (CTE) Department, Ellis was delighted for Bentley whom she described as “one of the finest students/young men I have had the opportunity to mentor.” She was also delighted for the message the award would send to other Lansdowne students.
Serving a large number of low-income families in Baltimore City, Lansdowne needs to introduce students to career opportunities that don’t require college degrees, she said.
“For our kids to see that there are options other than college is tremendous because college is not an affordable option for a lot of families in our area,” Ellis said. “Our kids need to work to provide some of the basic necessities at home. Our kids carry a lot of stress about their future on their shoulders.”
Lansdowne’s CTE Department, which offers high school completer programs in electrical careers and carpentry/construction management, provides some of those opportunities.
“When kids see students in the electricity program get jobs right out of high school that are decent paying jobs and with companies that pay for them to continue their certifications and licenses, that is huge,” she said.
The construction industry, in turn, also gets some talented young workers.
Bentley, for example, has maintained a weighted GPA of 3.49, a 99% attendance record and enrolled in Honors, AP and Gifted and Talented courses. The top student in the school’s electrical program, Bentley will be ready to begin the second year of an apprenticeship upon graduation. In the meantime, he is pursuing an internship as a maintenance technician at the National Security Administration. Bentley, who coaches soccer and floor hockey for a Christian athletic association, plans to pursue a job in the electrical trade after high school and attend trade school at night to complete his certification.
At this year’s Craftsmanship Awards ceremony, the BC&E Foundation was proud to award Future Craftsmen Awards to Bentley and two other area high school students.
Sean Marlatt, a student at Century High School and the Carroll County Career and Technology Center (CCCTC), has already plotted out his career in the welding trade. Through CCCTC’s welding program, Marlatt is learning ARC, MIG and TIG welding, has passed the OSHA 10 certification, and is becoming proficient in using oxygen-acetylene equipment and a hand-held plasma cutter. His welding projects have ranged from repairing engine stands to building a frame for a brick pizza oven to forging 100 metal Luna moths which are given to the families of fallen soldiers.
“After high school, I plan on going straight into the workforce,” Marlatt said. “I plan on working for a welding company or construction company where I can use my welding skills daily. After three to four years…I plan to become a welding inspector. Then I will start my own business where I can do welding for farms and custom welding projects, like tables… I plan on having all of this accomplished by age 35.”
Thomas Krieger, a student at Liberty High School, is enrolled in the HVAC program at CCCTC. Described by his HVAC teacher as disciplined, focused, responsible, collaborative and displaying leadership skills, Krieger particularly enjoys the problem-solving aspects of HVAC and other construction activities.
“I have enjoyed working on construction projects, such as building a treehouse in our backyard. This was a challenging job because we had to design one that would fit between three different trees and still work as a safe platform,” Krieger said. “After high school, I will join the HVAC field and save money to pay for a church mission and college. I would like to get a degree in business to better understand that side of the industry and start my own HVAC business.”