School of Technology gives real world training

By KIM ESTILL / For the Reporter

COLUMBIANA – The School of Technology in Columbiana offers students practical, real world training for future jobs.

Students from all eight Shelby County high schools can chose to come to the SOT for two hours each day for career training, while taking their “core” classes at their home schools. Students can also elect to enroll in the CAPS program and take all their classes at the SOT campus.

In addition, the School of Technology also has a SUCCESS program for at-risk students.

All students receive hands-on training from educators in the following fields: welding, electrical, carpentry, horticulture and landscaping, automotive technology, collision repair, cosmetology, public safety, Cisco networking, business and finance, culinary arts, health care, and pre-engineering and computer aided drafting.

Through their training, a long list of students received top awards at the national SKILLS USA competition last year. Brett Mooney placed ninth in welding; Jeremy Heisler placed eighth in collision repair; Justin Pier placed 10th in telecommunications cable; Benjamin Vines placed ninth in internetworking; and Stephen Topazi placed 15th in tech applications.

Students who compete at SKILLS USA are ranked in the top two percent of all career technical students in the country. Students who place at SKILLS USA are ranked in the top one percent nationally.

SKILLS USA will be held this summer in Kansas City, Kan. In the past, students won national competitions in the field of welding, collision repair and computer networking

This year, the school wants all of its teachers to attend the national competition. Not only will the teachers benefit, but the students can obtain great advantages too.

They will be given the opportunity to earn full tuition scholarships, as well as equipment, tools and prizes valued from $3,000 to $5,000.

SOT is working hard to raise approximately $20,400 to pay for registration and lodging for students and teachers at the SKILLS USA competition this summer.

So far, the school has raised approximately $12,000 for the trip. Last semester, students sold SOT baseball caps and Boston butts during the first semester. BE&, the city of Columbiana and the Shelby County Board of Education have also donated money. More fund-raisers are planned for this semester.

For more information about the School of Technology, SKILLS USA or fundraising efforts, call Principal Tim Elliff at 682-6650 or event chairperson Roger Gill at 682-6592.

Kim Estill is the CAPS English teacher at the School of Technology