Updated: Apr 17, 2019
Student Author: Alisha W.
Putnam County High School has always been grateful to have a Career Technical Education class like Building Trades. Building Trades is taught by Mr. Brad Gorkowski. In this class, students learn the intricacies of construction. This class consists not only of hard workers, but hard hat workers. It includes our future engineers, construction workers, architects, etc. This class is unique in that it provides not only academic education, but also practical application. The Building Trades class works to provide infrastructure and facilities for our school and our community. Putnam is proud to call these bright and hard-working individuals our high school Building Trades class. This group deserves a great deal of credit for multiple reasons: they have created play sets for the Drama department, a gazebo at the park, a shed at the school track, beautiful houses, and the garage at the PC Café for the Meals on Wheels vehicles. Driving by the garage, you can see the hard work they put in every day. It is clear the community should be proud of these accomplishments.
I recently asked Mary Clapham, the advisor of Meals on Wheels, a few questions about their work with the Building Trades class. Clapham moved to Unionville roughly 19 years ago. She has come a long way from where she started; she is very passionate about her work and believes that everything the PC Café does is for a worthy cause. Their philanthropic work provides meals for many people who are unable to provide for themselves.
Meals on Wheels is a nationwide service. Recently, the Putnam County Meals on Wheels program received a brand new Subaru from Meals on Wheels of America. The PC Café is very proud to now have a garage built by the building trades class to house the Subaru and two other Meals on Wheels cars. Clapham believes that this was a great project for the class because now they will have experience with such a project and they will know how to work as a team to make something great happen. “These boys and girls have opened a gateway for new possibilities,” stated Clapham. One day, these young adults will know the basics of construction and they will always have that link to Mr. Gorkowski. Clapham says that the Building Trades program is a great program and is vital to Putnam County.
I also interviewed two senior Building Trades students, Megan H. and Kalab S. The first question was, “What is one way that the garage will be beneficial?” Both students said that the garage is going to be a great shelter to keep the Meals on Wheels cars in pristine shape. Following this question, I asked, “What was one thing you did personally to contribute?” Megan’s response was “I put in metal and put up the truss (which is the structural part of the building).” Kalab’s response was, “I leveled the dirt and dug the holes for the posts.” After these questions, I asked about the impact of the class on its students. Kalab’s response was that he has learned a lot and that everything he learned will be beneficial for him in the future. Also, that these are lifelong skills that will be with him forever.
He continues with saying that he has learned that such a little group of people can accomplish something that is beneficial to not only them, but everyone who contributes. Finally, I asked Kalab what was his favorite part about the class altogether. He replied by saying, “Accomplishing something great.” This just goes to show you that these hard working adolescents have learned amazing lessons and will have incredible opportunities in the future.
With that being said, I want to say thank you to the Building Trades class and Mr. Gorkowski for all of the hard work. And thank you to the PC Café for fostering new opportunities for the growth and learning of our students.