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LIMBA -Gary Bixhorn- Vocational Trainning at BOCES
March 2, 2012 @ 12:00 am EST
Eastern Suffolk BOCES hosted the LIMBA meeting this morning at the Edward J. Miliken Training Center in Oakdale. In recognition of the symbiotic relationship BOCES has with the business community they opened their doors to us for a tour of the training facilities.
We began by being served breakfast that was prepared by the students. The room was beautifully decorated with flowers on each table. Full arrays of breakfast foods were available.
The Director, Gary Bixhorn, gave an overview of the services that BOCES makes available to students that are not motivated to a regular college curriculum. The purpose of the training is to give the means of a livelihood to people with good craft aptitudes.
In the past young people who wanted to work in the crafts such as electrician, carpenter, auto repair or nursing did so by apprenticeship. Those apprentice opportunities are not readily available these days and employers need to have productive workers on day one.
BOCES has been fulfilling these needs for many years yet most of did not know what they did. Most of us have the image of special needs children being schooled at BOCES. It does do that too, but that role is actually much smaller.
Our LIMBA group was divided into smaller groups and taken to the various shops. The equipment the students are learning to use is at the level you would find in a good production shop. The tools they have, and the training they are getting, is at least equal to industry. That is very important because it makes no sense to teach them yesterday’s technology
When we were leaving the people in the group were making comments that indicated that they were pleasantly surprised by the quality that they witnessed.
These facilities are expensive, but we are getting a lot of value for the money spent. Industry needs this and the craft oriented youngsters need the training
Mr. Bixhorn, and the school’s administrators, Dean Lucera, and principal, Tom Mcgrath suggested we do this tour on an annual basis and we agreed to do that
(This program was suggested by BOCES board member and LIMBA president Bill Miller)