Penn College electrical students serve area nonprofits

Published 05.03.2022

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Pennsylvania College of Technology’s commitment to hands-on education aided area nonprofit organizations throughout the spring semester.

Two sections of electrical construction students contributed nearly 400 hours of work, saving the YWCA, Sojourner Truth Ministries and the Avis Area Recreation Association labor expenses in completing a variety of projects.

“The quality of the students’ work was excellent. They did a great job,” said Joseph R. Raup, instructor of the course, Construction Lab IV: Practical Experience. “They had good attitudes throughout the semester and worked very hard.”

Jon A. Good, of Emporium, wires an outlet at a house owned by Sojourner Truth Ministries in Williamsport. Good was one of 14 electrical construction students at Pennsylvania College of Technology who served area nonprofit organizations for the Construction Lab IV: Practical Experience course.The field-experience class is taken in the fourth semester of the two-year electrical construction degree, which leads to careers such as residential electrician, electrical inspector and electrical designer.

“Students – as a result of this course – receive a true sense of the types of jobs and challenges they will encounter as graduates,” Raup said. “We’re dealing with real jobs for real clients with real deadlines.”

At the YWCA in Williamsport, the students replaced fluorescent lights with LED lights and removed wiring no longer in use.

“The new lights are amazing,” said Dawn Linn, CEO of YWCA Northcentral PA. “The project would have cost us additional dollars that now can be placed toward another project or toward one of our life-changing programs.”

A few blocks from the YWCA, the students embraced a comprehensive job at a house owned by Sojourner Truth Ministries. More than 240 hours were spent rewiring the home, including wiring for lights, outlets, a range, laundry equipment and smoke detectors.

The Carl W. Kephart baseball complex in Avis needed upgraded wiring, light fixtures and an electrical panel. The students completed those improvements in about 60 hours.

“The Avis Borough Council is very pleased with the electrical rewiring of the concession stand and lighting located at the baseball facility,” said Craig Seasholtz, president of the Avis Area Recreation Association. “This was a real win-win, as it saved the borough money it would have paid to an electrician and provided an educational opportunity to the electrical students.”

Steven A. Nahay, of McAdoo, is another of the Penn College students who received practical field experience through work for local nonprofits.Those students also completed work for the college community: installing circuits and transfer switches in labs at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, outlets and circuits in the Concrete Masonry Building, and panels and circuits at the Clean Energy Center Lab.

“I’m very proud of the students and thankful for the variety of learning opportunities provided by the nonprofit organizations and the college,” Raup said. “The course has been an invaluable experience for the students, and I’m happy we could serve the community at the same time.”

Participating electrical construction students were Aaron M. Bower, Williamsport; Cam T. Brandt, Tyrone; Douglas L. Coakley Jr., Lock Haven; David George, Mar Lin; Jon A. Good, Emporium; Daniel P. Harkins, North Wales; Owen Hoffman, Trout Run; Lane McQuillan, Johnstown; Destiny M. Miller, Laceyville; Steven A. Nahay, McAdoo; Tyler A. Smith, Blossburg; Jack T. Spencer, Johnstown; Angelo L. Varcadipane, Boonton, N.J.; and Carl S. Watkins, Damascus, Md.

Coakley and Varcadipane are also seeking bachelor’s degrees in building automation engineering technology.

Williamsport-area nonprofit organizations interested in having electrical construction students complete future projects can apply online. The students are available January through April.

For more information on the electrical construction major and other degrees offered by the School of Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. Email the Admissions Office or call toll-free at 800-367-9222.