Milton CAT attended an open house at BVT to show prospective students and their parents what opportunities are available at Milton CAT.
(Photo courtesy of Milton CAT)
With the recent shortage of people entering the construction industry, combined with the hiring challenges every company is faced with, Milton CAT and its sister companies, SITECH Northeast, Milton Rents and Tri-Point Construction Layout, have partnered with Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School (BVT) in Upton, Mass., to offer career development support to its students.
"Through our partnership with BVT, we are supporting our industry's future. An industry on which our country's infrastructure depends," Mark Biron, Milton CAT's vice president of service, explained. "We hope to help set the students up for success in their trade and show them, through first-hand experiences, how rewarding their career can be."
By supporting BVT with guest speakers, demonstrations, mentorships and co-op opportunities, Milton CAT is providing the students with valuable industry insights that will help prepare them to enter the workforce. They also are building awareness for the variety of career opportunities Milton CAT has available in the Blackstone Valley.
Serving the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge, Mass., BVT has 18 vocational-technical programs that students can pursue. Its programs range from Automotive and Construction Technology to Engineering & Robotics and Health Services.
The school's curriculum rotates between academic classes and the students' selected technical shop. Every other week the students are in their technical shop preparing to enter their selected trade. Through the Cooperative Education Program (co-op) at BVT, seniors and third-trimester juniors also are able to gain hands-on experience working for a local company during their shop weeks.
With the school's proximity to Milton CAT's headquarters in Milford, Milton CAT offers accessible co-op opportunities.
"Our aim is to allow the students to explore real-world experiences within the heavy equipment industry so they can decide for themselves if this might be a career path they would like to pursue," Milton CAT Recruiter John Huck explained.
The company welcomed its first two BVT co-op students this past school year. The students worked in the service shop and the parts department. In service, they helped rebuild machine components such as hammer attachments and hydraulic cylinders. In parts, they experienced the entire parts lifecycle from maintaining inventory integrity to fulfilling customer orders. Milton CAT hopes to bring on more co-op students from a variety of BVT's shops in the future.
Last fall, Milton CAT attended BVT's open house to show the students and their parents what opportunities are available at Milton CAT.
In June, a team from SITECH Northeast, a dealer of Trimble machine control technology, visited BVT's Engineering & Robotics students and demonstrated how to use Trimble Global Navigational Satellite System technology (GNSS, formerly known as GPS) to take measurements of the property boundaries and capture drone footage to produce a topographical map of the school's property. The team used the measured ground points to correlate and overlay the drone flight data.
To get an accurate measurement of the heavily wooded property bounds, the team used Trimble GNSS rovers along with a base station and a process called differentially corrected real time measurements (RTK). The rovers were placed at each of the property's corners, which were identified on the printed property map from the school. The rovers then listened to satellite signals and corrections from the base station. The base station was placed in an identifiable position on school grounds. This allowed the SITECH team to precisely measure the property boundaries.
Much of BVT's property is heavily wooded, which would have posed a challenge to traditional GNSS technology. However, Trimble's proprietary technology was still able to accurately measure through the tree canopy due to its advanced hardware and software. All the measurements were uploaded into the Trimble Stratus software including the drone data which created a dense set of data points needed to create a 3D topographical map.
The students helped the SITECH team launch the drone. Once launched, the drone captured images following a flight plan determined by its software and published imagery. The students also assisted with changing the drone's batteries halfway through its flight.
"The BVT students were very engaged and asked great questions," Adam Buckpitt, SITECH Northeast's product support manager, said. "I look forward to working with them more in the future. They bring fresh ideas to the table, and we can learn a lot from each other."
The entire drone flight took about 18 minutes. Before GNSS technology, the manual process would have taken a week. The stratus software then used the drone footage to create a 3D topographical map of the property with its different grades and elevations. 3D maps are important tools in the planning and construction phases of a project as all of the site's data is clearly displayed on one map.
"The partnership with Milton CAT has created new learning opportunities for our skilled students to delve deeper into their career options," said BVT's Superintendent-Director Michael F. Fitzpatrick. "While there are many paths to success, we are proud to see our students further their vocational-technical training alongside industry experts and gain experience that will help launch their careers."
This relationship has the potential to set a new threshold for cost-effect community partnerships. Milton CAT and its sister companies look forward to more demonstrations at BVT and a continued partnership that supports their students in their career pursuits. CEG
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