One construction company is giving back to the Ozone Park school they built nearly a decade ago by donating 200 sets of personal protective equipment to help the students maintain a culture of safety as they grow into the city’s next generation of construction workers, engineers, and architects.
The Skanska construction company helped build the High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture (CTEA) in 2010, and have announced a new partnership with the school by donating safety googles, reflector vests, hardhats, and protective gloves to the students.
On Friday, March 3, students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades at CTEA filed into the school’s auditorium to receive their new safety equipment, and to hear a safety demonstration from Michael Ceglio of Skanska.
“It means a lot that you’re partnering with our school to continue to provide engaging, real, authentic learning opportunities for our students that will better prepare them for not only college, but also to possibly enter into the work field and land the jobs that will make them productive citizens,” said Lakeisha Gordon, principal at CTEA. “These are the type of opportunities that engage students and keep them in school.”
Skanska is currently a construction partner on the major project to rebuild the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal, a $4 billion project, and is looking to CTEA to provide future workers on the project, like Andy Ramroop who graduated CTEA in 2014 and is currently a project engineer on the Skanska Walsh team at the LaGuardia project.
“Don’t think that nothing can happen for you,” Ramroop said. “I sat in this seat three years ago and I’m here today. So it is possible. Keep your heads on right and you’ll be here one day.”
“This is a great school with tons of potential,” he added. “A company like Skanska will open many doors for them.”
Joining the Skanska team to talk to the students was state Senator James Sanders, who was excited to see the students who will be building the future of the borough.
“My job is to make sure that companies like this one understand that we are going to build it in Queens, with Queens residents, and that I have an incredibly talented group here that can do every single thing up there with enough training,” Sanders told the students. “Now you get your basic training here. Your principal is working hard, and your teachers and faculty are working hard to make sure that you can tackle this.”
Skanska has yet another CTEA connection, as Blaise Delise a student at CTEA is the son of Charles Russo, a superintendent for the Skanska Walsh team on the LaGuardia project.
“I’m glad to see we’re donating the PPE (personal protective equipment), hopefully we can do it for every incoming class,” Russo said.
“I enjoyed the presentation,” Delise added. “Some of the stuff I already learned, but for the kids in audience that didn’t know that stuff, I thought they did really good.”