Franklin County Technical School   82 Industrial Blvd.   Turners Falls, MA 413 . 863 . 9561

FCTS Students Again Take Top Regional Welding Prizes FCTS Students Again Take Top Regional Welding Prizes

For the third year in a row, Franklin County Technical School Welding and Metal Fabrication program students have won prestigious awards from a national organization for their excellence in designing, documenting and constructing welding projects.

David Weed, 18, of Warwick won the James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation’s Regional Gold Award in the 2014 Division I Student Arc Welding Program. As such, Weed received a Lincoln 140 MIG Welder worth $700-$800, as well as $500 in cash.

Gabe Mazeski, 18, of Turners Falls, won the Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation’s Regional Silver Award, and received $250.

Weed is the son of Todd Weed, FCTS Electrical program teacher, and Mazeski is the son of Joe Mazeski, the school’s director of Building and Grounds.

Weed built a water cooler for an Airco Pulse Arc 500 that converts a previously air-cool welding machine and gun to water-cooled. This extends welding component life and allows for continual welding without stopping for a cool down cycle.

Weed said he was happy to learn he had won the award, and credited his teacher David Morgan with helping to guide him through the process.

“It’s nice to get a welder and the cash is nice too,” Weed said. “Doing the project was difficult. Without Mr. Morgan’s help it really would have been hard. This is a great program with excellent teachers.”

Mazeski made a water sediment table for a CNC plasma cutter. The table catches excess smoke and sediment from the cutting machine while it’s in use. He said he was surprised to hear he won the award.

“It felt great to win this award,” Mazeski said. “I came home from work one day and I had a letter from Lincoln Arc Welding saying that I won.”

The two award winners graduated from FCTS in June. Weed works for Judd Wire in Turners Falls, and Mazeski is a student at the Advanced Welding Institute in Burlington, Mass.

The James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation, based in Cleveland, Ohio, was created in 1936. It is the only organization in the United States solely dedicated to educating the public about the art and science of arc welding. The Foundation is now in its seventh decade of publishing educational texts and granting cash awards to recognize technical achievements.

Franklin County Technical School routinely wins James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation regional awards. Last year, Gabriel Stafford won the Regional Gold Award, while two years ago, Connor Roberge won a Silver Award, while James Thayer, Cody Stevens, and Dalton Harris took all three Bronze Awards.

“We’ve had quite a few winners of this contest over the years,” Morgan said. “We’ve been pretty competitive.”

Morgan said the students not only have to build their projects, but also document every step, including job specifications, drawings, photographs, tool lists, weld parameters, and more.

“It’s a pretty comprehensive package when they put it together,” he said. “The real plus of winning is that this is a very prestigious, recognized industry award. It’s industry-based and is evaluated by people in the industry. The real value is when you can list this award on a resume when the student goes into the job market.”

Cool Rides Car Cruises Into Franklin County Technical School

Cool Rides 2014 Cool Rides 2014

In its fifth year, the Cool Rides Car Show at Franklin County Technical School will feature some surprises, including new awards for participants and more children’s activities.

The annual event will be held on Saturday September 27th on the school’s grounds at 82 Industrial Boulevard, Turners Falls. The show will go on rain or shine from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. This family event is free of charge, although donations are encouraged.

Everything from souped-up roadsters to antique cars, trucks, motorcycles and farm tractors will be on display.

This year’s show will be moved from the parking lot in the back of the school to the Nancy Gifford football practice field, located on the side of the school.

The Cool Rides Car Show has been rapidly growing since its first year. This year’s event will likely be no exception, according to organizers.

“Last year we had over 200 vehicles and judging from comments from people at cruise nights, they plan to come to Cool Rides and bring their friends with them,” said Philip Foisy, FCTS Pre-Employment Program instructor, who is also coordinating the car show. “I anticipate increased participation and spectators.”

Participants who want to be eligible for awards need to register their vehicles by 10:30 a.m. at the latest. In the past, the first 200 registered participants received tee-shirts, but for the first time this year they will be given dash plaques, provided by Dinn Brothers Trophy, Inc. of West Springfield.

“It’s a nice commemoration of participation in the event,” Foisy said.

There is another twist in choosing winners. In the past first, second and third place winners were chosen by car show attendees in each category. This year people will instead vote for their top 25 favorite vehicles. Winners will receive a 4 by 8 inch aluminum plaque created by FCTS Machine Technology students.

“The awards will be engraved and we’re proud to say they’re being created in-house on the shop’s state-of-the-art equipment,” Foisy said. “Our show is four hours long and it’s difficult to tally up scores and be accurate about first, second and third place winners in each class. Choosing the top 25 vehicles is more fair.”

The Cool Rides Car Show will feature a live DJ, activities for kids like face painting and coloring table, and a chance for attendees to vote for their favorite vehicles. This year, for the first time, organizers have added a petting zoo operated by Dakota Whitmore, an FCTS graduate from Orange, that includes goats, sheep, and a calf.

One of the big hits at Cool Rides is the Taste of Tech, with menu items prepared by the FCTS Culinary Arts students and teachers. Besides traditional fare such as hamburgers and hot dogs, the menu will also feature homemade items like a pulled pork sandwich, autumn bisque soup, and root quesadilla.

“People rave about our food,” Foisy said. “It goes beyond just hamburgers and hot dogs.”

The show will also bring back the popular “Bash It For a Buck” event, where participants can make a donation and take a whack at an old car with a sledgehammer. The Turners Falls Fire Department will again bring their Jaws of Life display. FCTS students from the Electrathon Racing Team, National Honor Society, SkillsUSA, FCTS Store, Pre-Employment Program and others will operate vending booths. FCTS Cosmetology program will provide beauty services like fingernail painting and hair braid weaving.

Organizers have drawn up a number of goals for the Cool Rides Car Show including attracting the public not just to the show, but as a chance to view FCTS facilities and grounds; introduce young people to and hopefully create lasting interest in the classic car hobby; reinforce an image to the public that FCTS is a progressive school with multi-technical programs, organizations and clubs; allow school organizations the opportunity to raise funds; demonstrate that FCTS has a strong relationship with the community through fire and police department displays and demonstrations; provide young people an opportunity to interact with FCTS teachers, staff and students; create camaraderie among teachers, staff, administrators, maintenance crew and school committee members in a fun, informal and easy-going environment; and provide show car enthusiasts with a strong reason to attend the car show that is free, friendly, informal and fun.

“This show is not a full-blown car show or cruise night,” Foisy said. “We’re somewhere in between. We’re done by mid-afternoon. You can come and show your car, enjoy our delicious food, see some exhibits and be home in time to mow your lawn.”

Troy Fortin, a Franklin County Technical School Plumbing student from Charlemont, and his grandfather Frank Truesdale of Greenfield will be participating in their third Cool Rides Car Show.

“My grandfather will be bringing his 1951 Chevy Coupe,” Fortin said. “He bought it 16 years ago. When he bought it, it didn’t have a frame, just a body. He built his own frame. It has custom pipes. It’s built for drag racing.”

Besides enjoying participating in Cool Rides and seeing other vehicles, Fortin loves the event’s atmosphere.

“You get a lot of local guys who want to show their cars,” he said. “There’s a wide variety of cars. Everybody’s respectful and it’s a good time.”

Cosmetology Students to Provide Free Services to Community Crisis Clients

Summer 2014

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, as a community service, students in the Franklin County Technical School Cosmetology program will provide free manicures and pedicures to clients of the Community Crisis Response Team.

The Community Crisis Response Team, a division of Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions, provides support to victims of crime or trauma, such as drunk driving crashes, robbery, industrial accidents, hate crimes, homicide, abuse, and more.

Following their session in the Cosmetology program, the 10 women from CCRT will enjoy a lunch provided by the FCTS Culinary program.

“We at FCTS take great pride in giving back to our community through programs such as the Community Crisis Center Team,” said Electra Manley, FCTS Cosmetology teacher. “We all know life holds many challenges for all of us which sometimes may make one feel stuck or unfulfilled. Our students take pride in servicing different groups of people. It allows them to take the focus off their own drama even if for a moment. It's all about giving back while creating beauty and happiness.”

The session for the Community Crisis Response Team clients is one of a number of community service events to be sponsored by the FCTS Cosmetology program. On December 3, 2014, the Cosmetology students will provide free haircuts, perms, manicures and pedicures to Northfield Elderly Home residents. A similar event will be held in March.

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