South Orangetown Central School District

TZHS Career Speaker Series Panelists Skilled Trades

Yesterday afternoon, Tappan Zee High School students had the opportunity to hear from four local business owners who work in the Skilled Trades as part of Tappan Zee High School’s Career Speaker Series.

Panelists included General Contractor and Owner/Operator of Palisades Home Improvements, Gregg Smith; Master Plumber and Owner/Operator of Top Notch Plumbing and Heating, Charles Prevot; Electrician and Owner/Operator of EZ Electric, Manny Zervakis; and Auto Mechanic/Technician and Owner/Operator of Coatti’s Service Station, Peter Coatti. Each speaker described their current jobs, education and skills required to work in the field, how they gained hands-on learning experience and what sparked their interest in working in their field and the desire to own a business.

TZHS Assistant Principal Paul Frisch moderated the panel and when he asked panelists what personal characteristics that they possess that have set them up for success, answers included being willing to learn new things, being dependable, showing up on time, having strong interpersonal skills and knowing your weaknesses and learning how to fix them. Students had the chance to ask questions they had and when asked how to start working in the various trades fields, each speaker emphasized the importance of gaining hands-on experience through programs such as the Career and Technical Education Center Program at Rockland BOCES and by reaching out to local businesses to see if they can work for them to learn from people with experience in the field.