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Students prepare for future with hands-on construction lesson

Some students at the Columbia-Montour vo-tech took their lessons outside the classroom and learned about construction from people who are already in the business.

NORTHUMBERLAND, Pa. — The construction industry is a major part of the U.S. economy, and there is no shortage of jobs. Some students at the Columbia-Montour Area Vocational-Technical School know this all too well. Many of them want to go into the construction field when they graduate.

"I kind of want to get into building trades and maintenance, build houses and commercial stuff," said sophomore Gatlin Levan.

Nearly two dozen students from the CMAVTS rigging class got a firsthand look at how the construction industry works. They took a field trip to Zartman Construction near Northumberland.

"Hopefully, inspire them to want to get into the trades and get into construction. We're passionate about it," said Tim Clark, vice president of operations for Zartman Construction.

The students got a demonstration from Zartman's team.

"I just like being part of it. It's cool that we get to guide the crane, hook the things up, and learn the whole atmosphere about it," said freshman Alex Knoebel.

"You're going to need to use the signals and everything like that in order to help build it and move the equipment around and move all the materials," Levan added. "I need to know that in order to go into the career field I want to."

Having the students here is not only beneficial for them, but it's also helpful for Zartman Construction.

"We want to teach the kids and help them, but we also are hoping that they see Zartman as a career opportunity for them," Clark said.

The students say this was a good way to prepare them for the future, and the demonstration explained things better than learning from a textbook.

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