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OCM BOCES Adult Education students partner to support local veterans


OCM BOCES Adult Education students partner to support local veterans

OCM BOCES Adult Education students and instructors worked together this winter to increase community recognition of veterans through the renovation of a parade trailer—just in time for the Syracuse St. Patrick’s Parade.

Students in the Welder/Fitter, Electrical Maintenance Technician I, and Construction Trades programs worked for two months, from December through February, to breathe new life into a dilapidated parade float owned by the Mattydale Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3146.

Michael Hart, veteran outreach coordinator for the town of Salina, heard about the ailing float during a VFW post meeting.

“My job is making sure the veterans in our community are recognized and celebrated,” he said. 

The float, which measures 8 feet by 16 feet, would not be able to be used for future parades and other events if it could not be fixed.

Hart knew the skills and expertise of OCM BOCES Adult Education instructors and students could solve the problem and reached out to Coordinator of Adult Programs Matthew Tarolli.

“It was a perfect fit for our trades programs to do the work,” Tarolli said. “We are always looking to support different organizations in a variety of ways.”

The parade trailer was hauled to OCM BOCES Main Campus in December for renovations to begin. On March 1, Hart and his crew picked it up, two weeks before the Syracuse St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 16.

“I think it’s good for both sides,” Hart said of the VFW and OCM BOCES partnership. “We’re getting the work done at a discounted rate and (students) get the experience.”

Morse Manufacturing Co., Inc. provided powder coating, free of charge, in addition to the work of students and instructors.