Grab your hammers and nails and join in Southampton High School’s building trades course. But that’s not all you’ll need for the new class that teaches students five construction trades — electrical, masonry, concrete finishing, plumbing, and carpentry.
The elective, part of an Eastern Suffolk BOCES two-year program, gives students a taste of the professions behind building and provides them with alternative post-graduation routes to college. Those enrolled in the elective will gain technical training to prepare for entry-level employment or higher in residential construction, home improvement, or related fields.
The high school held an open house August 27 during which participants were able to tour Southampton’s new classroom, meet teacher Benny Diaz, and learn more about what’s being offered.
“I promise to work diligently to impart foundational skills and lessons to my students,” Diaz said. “Doing so will help propel them to discover a career path in the trades industry.”
Diaz, who joins the school district with vast practical experience, said he plans to accomplish this through positivity and inspiration. Since 2012, he has owned and operated Beyond the Finish Inc., where he oversees a team of foremen, interprets blueprints and schematics, provides cost estimates for construction projects, maintains construction records, and ensures the safety of employees. He previously served as a project manager for Uprite Plus Contracting in Port Jefferson Station, where he designed, built, and repaired structures, including windows, doors, cabinets, and furniture. He holds an associate degree from Liberty University.
“We are very excited to launch our partnership with BOCES this year,” Southampton Superintendent Nicholas Dyno said. “The opportunity to provide hands-on vocational training to our students within our high school is invaluable. The experience brought by Mr. Diaz to the program will only enhance the learning experience for Southampton’s students.”