About 45 high school students from across the tri-state area and Harlem Childrens’ Zone, were exposed to the trades and Williamson College of the Trades in two, 4-day Trade Camps.
Broken up into small groups each week, the young men spent the first two days visiting each shop and doing hands-on trade work. The hope is being introduced to each of Williamson’s trades will help them determine which trade they like the best.
The last two days, working as a group, they constructed a complex Japanese Gazebo that combined elements of all six Williamson trades and gave them the opportunity to use the skills they had just learned under the leadership of the trade instructors.
The project included an overhead pergola, a patio made of pavers, brick columns, low-voltage landscape lighting powered by a solar panel, and wind chimes fabricated in the Machine Shop.
Throughout the week they were exposed to the rigors and structure of Williamson as well as the benefits of graduating from the school. The students lived on campus and participated in team building and fun activities emphasizing the brotherhood nature of the college’s student body.
On the third day of the first camp, Nick Ohnell, the principal of Ohnell Capital in Greenwich, Conn., and the benefactor who provided the funding for the camps this year and last year, toured the shops and met the students he is helping.
Each camp concluded with two presentations – “A Future in the Trades,” with Dr. Michelle Williams, vice president of academic affairs and CAO, providing an interactive overview of career opportunities in the construction trades, and Jason Merillat, vice president of enrollment management, speaking on “Williamson College of the Trades,” an admissions briefing outlining the excellent opportunity available to each of the students.
The two camps took place July 10-13 and July 17-20.