Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Welding program seniors recently took a tour of the Feldmeier Equipment facility at 245 Riverside Industrial Parkway in Little Falls.
The tour served not only as a way to learn more about a local business, but also as an introduction to a place where the students will be doing a work-study internship program in April 2023. Students also could have the opportunity to work professionally at Feldmeier after graduation.
Students saw during the tour that Feldmeier employs many Herkimer BOCES alumni – including a few from just the last three graduating classes, Herkimer BOCES Welding instructor Mason Fisher said.
“It’s great for the students,” he said. “They can see a possible path for themselves through former students working there and enjoying it. It is work, but it is a great opportunity right in our own backyard.”
The tour took place on Oct. 6 with Feldmeier Equipment Plant Manager Elroy Moore. Students got to see welding practices being put to work, robotic machines, several-hundred-thousand-gallon tanks and more.
In class, students practice various welding skills or work on small project, but the tour allowed students to see how various aspects of welding come together as part of a business, Fisher said.
“They enjoyed it,” Fisher said. “It was good for them to see everything we do kind of put into fruition.”
Feldmeier is one of the largest manufacturers of stainless steel tanks in the country and ships tanks all across the world. The company employs several hundred welders and fabricators all around the country and nearly 100 welders in Little Falls, Fisher said.
The large size of the facility, the tanks and the overall operation can be intimidating for students to see, but taking the tour helps alleviate those concerns before the internship opportunity, Fisher said.
Senior students in the Herkimer BOCES Welding program are encouraged to attend the work-study program at Feldmeier for a week or two in April each year. During the internship experience, students go through a safety training and work directly with the Feldmeier crew, Fisher said.
“It opens up that employment avenue,” Fisher said. “It opens up the door where they have that line of communication already established, and Feldmeier will hire them right out of high school.”
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Welding seniors toured Feldmeier Equipment’s new, expanded facility at 245 Riverside Industrial Parkway in Little Falls on Oct. 6. Pictured here, the tour group poses outside the building. From left: Pathways Academy and West Canada Valley student Izayah Przelski, Dolgeville student Nathen Randall, Dolgeville student Isaiah Rathbun, Poland student John Smith, Central Valley student Kiley Ball, Mount Markham student Bradley Burke III, Richfield Springs student Brett Clements, Mount Markham student Tyler Duncan, West Canada Valley student Aidan Monahan, Richfield Springs student Brogan Graves, Feldmeier Equipment Plant Manager Elroy Moore, Central Valley student Alexander Becker, Owen D. Young student Robert Teel, Herkimer BOCES Welding instructor Mason Fisher, Little Falls student Isabella Drake, Owen D. Young student Cooper Reynolds, Little Falls student Chloe Willett, Herkimer student Trent Bunker and Central Valley student Emma Morey.