Engineering instructor Amy Anthony, right, introduces potential students to computer assisted design during a workshop at the Windham Regional Career
Engineering instructor Amy Anthony, right, introduces potential students to computer assisted design during a workshop at the Windham Regional Career Center's expo in Brattleboro. (Reformer file photo)
Saturday November 24, 2012

BRATTLEBORO -- Logan George was putting up pipes for wires to be safely placed in ceilings at the State Building downtown.

He has been working with A.L. Tyler and Sons since he finished up his training as an the electrician at the Windham Regional Career Center.

"I probably wouldn't have had this job without the Career Center," said George.

He had been taking classes such as architecture, math and construction trades, when Lloyd Szulborski came and visited a class he was in. The topic was about finding a job in a trade. Szulborski used the electrician trade as an example.

"Both my teachers kind of looked at me and were telling me to pursue Lloyd after class, because I took construction trades through the Career Center and always talked to my teacher Bob Simeon. I had told him that it was something I always wanted to do."

George talked to Szulborski about a month later. Then he was directed to Brian Tyler, owner of A.L. Tyler and Sons. A month after that, he was working after classes with Tyler.

"(George) is a hard worker, a quiet kid who did what he was told," said Szulborski. "He talked to his instructor then took a class with Tyler Electric. Next thing you know, he graduated and got a job with Tyler Electric."

The Career Center and Tyler Electric have had a long relationship.

"We've worked with them for about 10 to 15 years," said Tyler.

As a student, George would work two to three hours a day. He would work whenever he could fit it into his schedule.

After graduating, George began working as a full-time apprentice. Two nights a week, he goes to apprenticeship classes in Keene, N.H.

This program will take four years. At completion, George will take a test to become a journeyman. By then, he will have accumulated 8,000 hours that are mandated in order to obtain a license.

Tyler is supportive of the Career Center. He believes it's a good way for students who are interested in the trades to get a head start.

"There's not as many people wanting to get into the trade as when I was starting out," said Tyler. "It's a way to help them develop an understanding and see if it's a path they want to continue down."

George had worked with his uncle, a master electrician, for a few years before he ever talked to Szulsborski.

"It was always something I was interested in," he said.

Szulsborski pointed out that not every student ends up working in the first field they choose.

"We'll talk and we'll say if you want, try it," he said. "One of two things is going to happen. Either you're going to love it or you're going to find out you don't really want to do it."

Szulsborski remembered a girl who wanted to work at Grace Cottage, so the Career Center helped her get a job. She didn't end up wanting to work there, so her whole career plan changed. She ended up working in a human resources department, Szulborski said.

George knows that being an electrician is what he wants to do. He said he's going to stick with apprenticeship school, get his license and see where that takes him. Owning his own business is not something that is completely out of the question, but that wouldn't be for a while.

"The Career Center is really good at helping you find something you'd like to do," said George. "And then they're really good at helping you pursue that after high school."

With the economy being the way it is, high-school students struggle with finding their career path. There are plenty of people today who know what they want to do, but still can't find a job in their chosen field.

"I would say that because of my age, finding what you want to do and then building a career off that gets hard. I'm just glad that I went to the Career Center and found what I wanted to do."

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com.