VP-TECH students learn about variety of career options on Indium Corporation tour
Jan. 18, 2019
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School juniors pose for a photo following a tour of Indium Corporation facilities on Friday, Jan. 18, in the Utica Business Park.
UTICA – Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School students came away impressed following a recent tour of the Indium Corporation facilities in the Utica Business Park.
The feeling was mutual.
Indium Corporation tour guides could be heard afterward discussing that the students were great during the tour, and Jim McCoy, Indium Corporation talent acquisition supervisor, said the VP-TECH program is a great start for students interested in the various career options at Indium Corporation
“This is the type of program that if I saw it on a resume, I would definitely be interested and want to talk to that person,” McCoy said, of VP-TECH.
Juniors and seniors in the VP-TECH program at Herkimer BOCES toured Indium Corporation during two separate visits on Friday, Jan. 18, at the Utica Business Park. In recent weeks, VP-TECH students have been participating in various business tours, workshops and classroom visits from guest speakers including McCoy.
VP-TECH is in its fourth year of operation – with a focus on technology, project-based learning and real-world work situations. VP-TECH students from Herkimer BOCES component school districts start in ninth grade and spend four to six years in the program – leaving with a Regents diploma, an associate degree in quality assurance from Herkimer College, a certification in advanced manufacturing and connections with local businesses.
McCoy said it’s great that VP-TECH provides students with relevant career experience and introduces them to local professionals. He believes students should find the tour beneficial.
“The biggest thing is I want them to know that we have employment opportunities for them here no matter what field they go into,” he said.
Indium Corporation has jobs in production, quality assurance, engineering, chemistry, accounting, sales and more, McCoy said.
VP-TECH business teacher Andrew Carpenter noticed that the tour guides, who introduced themselves to students by discussing their education and work experience, came from various backgrounds and held a wide range of college degrees.
“This really justifies what we are doing here in VP-TECH and makes me feel confident that the experiences our students are receiving from us are going to carry them far,” Carpenter said.
Indium helped make the tour relevant for students by sharing who some of their customers are, Carpenter said.
“These well-known brands in consumer electronics are all customers that they are providing products to,” he said. “Knowing this really helped students see the value in what is being done at this company, and I think it was a very empowering feeling for them to realize that they can actually work at a company like this when they graduate.”
When students were asked for comments following the tour, VP-TECH 11th-grader Toby Desjardins, of West Canada Valley, said he noticed that quality assurance plays a large role in the company’s operations. A tour guide followed up by asking him if a job requiring that level of attention to detail is something that appeals to him.
“It does appeal to me because you need skills to do that,” Desjardins said.
Later, Desjardins said he thought the tour was helpful and that the tour guides were honest and devoted to the students’ success. The tour is beneficial for students because it gives them a better sense of their opportunities, he said.
“It more than helps – it opens our eyes,” he said.
Jim McCoy (right), Indium Corporation talent acquisition supervisor, speaks to Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School juniors before their tour of Indium Corporation facilities on Friday, Jan. 18, in the Utica Business Park.