Gloversville and Johnstown 8th graders spent the evening speaking with local professionals about the many opportunities available in
engineering, construction and other STEM-related fields during a career awareness event held at the HFM Career and Technical Center Wednesday, May 11.
HFM BOCES, the Gloversville and Johnstown school districts, and the Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce partnered with Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. (GPI) to introduce 8th-grade students to the wide range of career possibilities for women and men in engineering and related industries. GPI is a national engineering and construction services firm that employs many professionals in the HFM region and beyond.
Several engineers and other professionals from GPI, including an environmental scientist, an underwater diver and others, attended the event providing a panel discussion, answering audience questions and speaking one-on-one with students. The event was attended by about 60 8th graders and family members.
Among the GPI panelists was 1989 Gloversville graduate John Rizzo, MBA, PE. Following high school, Rizzo attended Fulton-Montgomery Community College and then Union College, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He is now vice president and director of building engineering at GPI and lives in Johnstown with his family.
Another local GPI employee at the event was 2006 Broadalbin-Perth graduate Brian Weaver, PE. Weaver attended Hudson Valley Community College after high school and then attended SUNY Polytechnic in Utica. He did several internships with the state Department of Transportation during college and was hired as a construction inspector for GPI after graduating. He’s now a structural engineer with GPI and lives in Broadalbin.
According to GPI, besides opportunities for those with college degrees, there are careers available in engineering for students who embrace the trades versus a college path. These career paths allow students to serve in collaborative roles necessary for the completion of engineering projects.
HFM Career and Technical Center Principal Michael DiMezza said there are many rewarding and high-paying career opportunities available to those living in the HFM region, and he encouraged students to find their pathway to success.
“There are many career opportunities available right here in our own backyard,” DiMezza said. “The possibilities are endless.”
DiMezza said many students may not know what career they want to pursue and that’s normal.
“That’s why it is so important for schools to partner with local businesses and industry. Partnerships like these allow our students to consider career paths they didn’t even know existed,” DiMezza said.