Bethany J. Royer
Editor’s Note: This is part four of a continuing series on donations and the Upper Valley Career center. Part one ran Saturday, Nov. 30, part two on Saturday, Dec. 7, and part three on Saturday, Dec. 21.
PIQUA — A tour of the Upper Valley Career Center had only just begun as Terry Krogman, instructional supervisor, led the way from Scott Naill’s HVACR (Hearting/ventilation/air conditioning/refrigeration technologies) classroom back into a series of hallways.
A little misgiving from the outside, the Upper Valley Career Center on Looney Road can be a disorienting once inside, at least to a newcomer given one wants to rubber-neck along the journey and for good reason. There’s a lot going on in the multiple classroom (Even outdoors) including an Aerospace Occupations Program that was the recipient of a donated 1966 Cherokee airplane.
“They actually flew it in,” explained Krogman, the donation requiring a little bit of maintenance and at the right spot for the job. As he touched base on how the Aerospace program initially started after the WACO Historical Society wrote for grant funds from the Paul G. Duke Foundation. The latter bestowing a generous $80,000 to start the program and Richard Borgerding, a certified FAA Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) technician brought on board as the instructor.
Borgerding comes with a wealth of experience, including repair training after serving in the U.S. Navy, Airforce, and National Guard. And though Krogman’s background is in automotive he’d his own wealth of information including the tenacious documenting and logging of everything related to plane engine repair to assure proper functioning. Work that must be overseen by an A&P certified technician such as Borgerding thus emphasizing the in-depth and thoroughness of the process and program. Not to mention a bright future for the Cherokee airplane.
Both instructor and students were at the Sidney Airport during the time of the tour, working on the donated Cherokee, with parts of the engine in the UVCC classroom, the latter also home to a flight simulator, among other high-tech items. As students in the program also work on remote-control airplanes, simulators for other flying machinery such as helicopters, and much more.
The Aerospace program classroom was also housing the World War II 500-volt generator recently donated to the center, an item that had been used by the Navy for communication devices.
While predominately made up of male students, Krogman was quick to point out that two women are currently attending the Aerospace Program at the Upper Valley Career Center.
“We encourage that in any way, shape, or form that we can,” said Krogman of UVCC guiding more women into STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related programs, and that many employers are looking for non-traditional hires, as well. “One of these things we tell them (female students) is that a lot of times they are the first to be hired.”
In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, there will be 1.2 million job openings in STEM related fields by 2018, but not enough qualified graduates to fill them. Meaning, the Upper Valley Career Center is the place to be for anyone interested in such a field that will have a host of potentials in terms of employment for many years to come.
Stay tuned …