Local businesses and high schoolers strut their stuff

Saugerties High School Grade 11 student Aidan Gruen (left) shares some of the things he’s learned to do in his technology classes with Evelyn Heinbach from Ulster County Economic Development.

Technology students at Saugerties High School last month were given an opportunity to meet with local manufacturing executives. Both sides hope will the encounter will prove fruitful for both sides in years to come.

Jobs in technology and science are among the most important for the future, with technology increasingly at the forefront of the global economy. Positions in some fields are unable to be filled quickly enough. During the December meeting, students discussed the options available to them locally.


Among those from the local business community at the meeting were representatives from LoDolce Machine Co., Inc., Elna Magnetics, Markertek Video Supply, and Wolf-Tec from Kingston).

The summit gave the local business leaders a chance to get a look at their potential future workforce. “This was a great opportunity to see the next generation of workers and help give them direction on how to secure jobs in the industry,” said Mark Harris, director of manufacturing at LoDolce.

Saugerties High School Grade 9 students Robbie Freer (left) and Madi Green (right) share how they built their robot with Patricia Lieske (center), a human resource officer with Markertek.

In addition to discussing their educational focus and career aspirations, the technology students shared some of the tech-based projects they’ve dedicated their energies to over the years, including small engine diagnostics, coding, designing on CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) software, and the construction of garden beds.

VEX robotics were also demonstrated. Saugerties students recently dipped their toes in robotics competitions. Last spring, two teams or technology students won awards at the SeaPerch Regional Underwater Robotics competition in New York City, just the second time the program was in competition.

The junior-high team of Ryleigh McCardle, Marlo Rothe, Ashlynn DeRonda, Mehal Mitra and Renee Baldwin won the Best ROV (Remotely-Operated Vehicle) Design with their Aqua RRAMM robot.

The senior high team of Mark Danza, Ethan Christiansen, Carter Vail, Aidan Gruen, and Aidan Jurofcik won the Best Engineering Notebook award.

“This was a great opportunity for students to meet talented industry leaders and gain insight into their careers,” said Deborah Nuzzo, transition coordinator at Saugerties High. School officials said they hoped the connections between the students and industry leaders would create opportunities for internships, enrichment workshops and mentoring programs.

Mark Harris, Director of Manufacturing for LoDolce Machine Co. Inc., asks Saugerties High School Grade 10 student Jaden Whittaker questions about his robot during an industry meeting on December 3.

Aidan Gruen, a Grade 11 student at Saugerties High School, displays a shelf that was constructed in one of his technology classes during a recent meeting with local manufacturing leaders.