ENGLEWOOD – Nicholas Didier, a Versailles High School senior enrolled in the heating ventilation and air conditioning program at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center, was a very excited young man the evening of May 12.
He was the winner of the We Build the USA TOOLS Scholarship. This scholarship is sponsored by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors. ABC is a network of contractors with chapters spread all over the United States.
This year was extra special, though, because the grand prize winner of the TOOLS Program Scholarship would take home a Ford Ranger along with the $1,000 scholarship to apply toward tools for the trade or to further their education. Didier’s name was announced as the grand prize winner. He will use this truck and the money to further his education.
While attending MVCTC, Didier has been very active, first as a student ambassador and most recently as a participant in the MVCTC Pre-Apprenticeship Program. Didier has earned many industry credentials while attending MVCTC, including EPA Universal Certification, NCCER Core 1 Certified, NCCER HVAC Level 1, and OSHA 10 Construction.
Didier was employed by Emerson in a pre-apprenticeship program at the Helix Innovation Center on the University of Dayton’s campus. This facility is a state-of-the-art product development and testing center where industry specialists come together from worldwide to solve the latest and greatest challenges facing the HVAC/R industry.
His responsibilities include building, prototyping and developing products, Didier said, but best of all learning he enjoys learning new information about his profession.
“I really wanted to pursue a career in HVAC-R because I love to learn the mechanical aspects of a trade,” Didier said. “I understand there is a skilled labor shortage in America, and I understand the heartbeat of our country is in skilled trades.”
The TOOLS Program stands for Today’s Opportunities Offering Lifetime Skills. The goal of the TOOLS Program is to bring resources to help schools promote skilled trades and apprenticeship opportunities in manufacturing and construction. It introduces students interested in a skilled trades career to local employers ready to hire and train. This includes:
• Working with the school to identify 10-20 senior students interested in learning more about careers in the skilled trades (manufacturing and construction).
• Assist students in applying for the TOOLS program scholarship.
• Connect the school to local employers for career/job fairs and classroom speaking opportunities.
This school year, the “We Build the USA Scholarship Video Contest” was introduced. Students were challenged to create a 90-second video that answered three questions.
1. Why do you want to pursue a career in construction?
2. How did you become interested in construction?
3. How do you plan on using the scholarship funds?
Didier’s winning video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/X0C2GWQUWaU.
The TOOLS Program is sponsored by Associate Builders and Contractors Ohio Valley, YourFutureCareers.org and the Ohio Valley Construction Education Foundation.
To learn more about the TOOLS Program, contact TOOLS Program Manager Nick Smiley at Nick@OVABC.org.
After graduation, Didier plans to work at Emerson in Sidney in the HVAC lab and earn money while learning from their best technicians. He also will attend Edison State Community College classes at night to earn an associate’s degree in HVAC engineering technology and, potentially, continue his education to earn a bachelor’s degree and become an HVAC engineer.
“My experience at MVCTC has overall been a life-changing experience,” Didier said. “The teachers at this school are the best I’ve ever seen, and they really care about the well-being of their students in or out of the classroom. If I did not attend MVCTC, I don’t know where I’d be in my life. In my experience, I feel like I found my true purpose in life. I enjoy waking up every day and going to a school that has done so much for me, and I will never forget what the school has done to help me find my purpose and my future profession.”
For more information about MVCTC, visit www.mvctc.com.