New England Tech Electrical Technology student, Nicole, is breaking ground in what had been a predominantly male field – hear her story in this short video.
Boys often dream of cars but the dream has become a reality for one young mechanic.
Andre Smith, 21, earned a spot as an apprentice mechanic with Rayclan Ltd and hasn’t looked back.
“Andre’s had to prove himself from the bottom of the barrel,” said company manager Sharon Davis.
The Pembroke auto dealership and repair shop gambles on hiring and helping to train promising young Bermudians, in the hope that they’ll stick with it.
Not everyone has what it takes, she warned. The apprenticeship programme is anything but an easy ride.
Explained Ms Davis: “While our model may seem a long, drawn out one, spreading over almost four years of on-the-job training and classroom work, it separates the young people with not only the interest but the willingness to put in the time and effort for success, from those who may only have a passing interest and who aren’t prepared for the long haul.”
Rayclan co-owner Daniel Greenslade puts it a little differently: “A lot of times we get boys whose mothers call us up asking for a job.
“Right off the bat, that’s a bad sign — they need to have the gumption to come in and say, ‘This is what I’m doing, this is where I’m going’.”
Andre graduated from Mount St Agnes Academy four years ago and knew he wanted to work with cars.
“I always loved cars,” Andre said. “I had all the Hot Wheels cars when I was young. I would draw cars and watch all the car movies.
“I was in school asking myself what I could do that related to cars. Being a mechanic was one option for the field.”
He learned of Rayclan through “word of mouth” and ended up shadowing Gil Santos, described by Ms Davis as “a very demanding, tough-as-nails senior mechanic”.
Andre decided to put off college courses and focus on accruing experience. It turned into 18 months’ work.
“A lot of people come into this trade thinking it’s going to be easy or fun,” said Andre. “I wanted to make sure it was something I really wanted to do and to make sure I was good at it as well.
“This trade isn’t meant for everybody. I like waking up in the morning and liking what I do.
“It can be tough. I’ve got a car right now where the indicators aren’t working.
“I just replaced the fuses, but they came back with the same problem. There’s something making the fuses blow.
“So I have to make diagnostic steps and figure out what. I like that kind of problem-solving.”
The company was impressed enough to help pay for his associates degree at the New England School of Technology in 2010.
“The experience helped a lot,” recalled Andre. “Half the things I already knew or knew the gist of. That’s where I learned how it worked, and got the general courses like physics.
“I’d always wondered how I was going to need things like physics and algebra. When it was applied to the field, I could see it.”
Mentor mechanic Mr Santos has since moved on.
His replacement is Jonathan Davis, another company apprentice who went through the New England Institute of Technology and brought the skills back home.
Andre is now a junior mechanic with the company.
“It’s like being a car doctor,” he said. “When you diagnose problems you’ve got to do it correctly — or they’ll be back.
“Or sometimes a car comes in and we have to tell the customer that the problem hasn’t happened yet and they might have to bring it back. It can be hard but there’s always something new.”
Asked if the glamour had worn off when it came to getting covered in oil, Andre laughed.
“Everybody complains that it’s a dirty job. And it is. But that all depends on how you work. I wash up regularly. You can work clean.”
Ribbon Cutting and Dedication of The Keefe Transportation Center
Text by Gita Brown, Staff Writer | RIC
The Keefe Transportation Center – a site for RIC’s new bus shelter, zip cars, rental bicycles and, perhaps, a recharging station – was dedicated this month.
Like so many of the milestones that mark Nancy Carriuolo’s presidency at Rhode Island College, this center is the result of extraordinary collaborations.
In her opening remarks at the ribbon cutting, Carriuolo said, “This is a story of two higher education institutions working collaboratively, of students and the administration working to make the college greener and safer, of local professionals providing their expertise and of donors stepping forward to provide all the necessary resources. Quite a team and quite an achievement.”
She recounted how two years ago students from RIC’s Student Community Government requested
a bus shelter. “They were led by a very able, very vocal student Aaron Buckley ’12,” she said.
The students were concerned that commuters waiting for the RIPTA bus had no shelter from bad
weather. They argued that without a bus shelter, commuters might stop catching the bus. Decreased usage of public transportation meant more cars on campus.
One of the primary goals of Carriuolo’s presidency has been to create a greener campus. The herding of more cars into lots – and more carbon emissions – was not the green campus she envisioned.
“We understood the need for a shelter,” Carriuolo said, “but our problem was how to put up a shelter with a very limited budget.”
She contacted an old friend, Richard Gouse, president of the New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), to ask if his architectural students might take on the challenge of designing a bus shelter for RIC. Gouse was delighted.
The students were grouped into teams, and each team presented their designs before a RIC panel.
Once a final design was selected, Saccoccio & Associates, an architectural firm in Cranston, RI,
agreed to refine the specs pro bono.
“They saved us a great deal of money,” Carriuolo said.
RIPTA also worked on the specs, making modifications.
And in June 2012 the Bailey Group began construction on the building. Funding came from private
donations made to the college and by a donation from the Class of 2011.
The most significant private contribution was made by John Smith, ’63, ’67 MA, a longtime supporter of RIC, a former trustee, a member of the board of RIC’s Foundation and current vice chair of the Foundation.
In honor of his generosity, the transportation center was named after his deceased mother Anna Veronica Keefe Smith ’33, ’67 MA.
John Smith ’63, ’67 MA Following the president’s remarks, Gouse, Smith and Travis Escobar, speaker of parliament for
RIC’s Student Community Government, addressed the audience.
Gouse commended Carriuolo for being a catalyst for bringing people together. While Escobar said President Carriuolo and her administration really listen to student ideas.
Smith extolled the changing landscape at RIC under Carriuolo’s leadership – the newly renovated Recreation Center, construction of the Alex and Ani Art Center, the passage of Referendum 3 – the largest bond in the history of the college – which slates Craig-Lee Hall, Gaige Hall and the Fogarty Life Science building for renovations. RIC has many ribbon cuttings to look forward to and much to be proud of, said Smith.
“We are on the move.”
Airlines Face Pilot Shortage – New England Tech Has A Solution
Excerpts from an article by Time Magazine on the current shortage of airline pilots and the need for more flight training to fill the skills gap and immediate hire demand:
“Air travel can be torturous enough as it is—with delays, cancellations, lost luggage and expensive tickets—but experts warn that another problem looms on the horizon, threatening to further complicate the commercial airline experience: a pilot shortage. According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. airlines are on track to run out of pilots in the near future and are facing the most serious scarcity of trained aviators since the 1960s.
The paper reports that more than half of American pilots are over age 50, and there is a dearth of qualified candidates to fill the cockpits that will be left empty when they retire. The mandatory retirement age for pilots is 65 years old (extended from 60 in 2007), meaning that thousands are expected to leave their careers with no one to replace them, the Journal notes.”
“According to the Journal, JetBlue Airways Corp.’s chief executive, Dave Barger, said in October that the airline industry is “facing an exodus of talent in the next few years” and may “wake up one day” to find that there is no one to “operate or maintain” the planes.”
“Although estimates vary, Darby’s firm calculates that U.S. airlines collectively employ close to 96,000 pilots, but that they will need to hire at least 65,000 more in the next eight years.”
“American Airlines, which recently announced it will add more international routes next year, said it intends to hire 2,500 pilots over the next five years—although even that may not be enough to maintain its ranks at current levels. The carrier currently employs 8,000 active pilots—down from the 14,000 it had in 2001 after it bought TWA, according to the Associated Press.”
“While passengers may still complain of jam-packed cabins, the cockpits now appear decidedly less crowded.”
MORE ON FLIGHT TRAINING
“Of all the local schools in RI, New England Tech has been the most responsive when it comes to recruiting students and alumni.”
American Ring Co., Inc.
“The trend for NEIT grads is still positive relative to finding jobs. A great school with great results!”
Jeffrey Tracey, Manager, IBM
“We have had a great deal of success using NEIT grads to staff our organization. Fully one-third of NetCenergy employees are graduates of or current students at NEIT.”
Don Nokes, Present, NetCenergy
“We have been very impressed with the quality of the applicants that you have forwarded to us here at Astro. In fact, we had hired six previously who continue to work out well and have also hired two more in the past week.
Mike Fanning, Astro of New England LLC.
NEIT Automotive School of High-Performance Faculty Member, Derke Martel, receives national recognition
Derek Martel, Assistant Professor in New England Tech’s Transportation Technology department (the automotive school), couldn’t be happier. The New England Tech college community couldn’t be prouder either.
We congratulate Derek for this well-deserved honor – we are so fortunate to have such an outstanding faculty member at New England Tech’s Automotive School!