Inside the Schindler Escalator Plant, Elijah Bryant is enjoying real-world experience outside the walls of Clinton High School by making daily contributions to one of the worldwide leaders of escalators.
“I just love every moment of it and I can’t get enough of it,” Bryant said about his paid internship, which began in June.
Bryant works with schematics, a system which shows the wiring required for programming. He also deals with documents for customers The Clinton manufacturing complex includes an escalator step facility and assembly plant. So far, it’s been a good experience for Bryant, especially since he likes working in the shop and gaining hands-on experience.
“I’m only 16 and of course life is moving fast,” Bryant said. “This is kind of like a job. It really doesn’t feel like an internship to me.”
He came to Schindler through the school’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Internship Program. The purpose of the internship is to provide experience in a realistic work environment, which gives students an opportunity to learn about an industry and apply skills necessary for the position.
His time at the company is allowing Bryant to move forward with his life, which includes college after high school. The fields of study may include mechanics, electrical or engineering.
“I’ve got some time to think about it,” Bryant said about college.
As the child of Larry and Tammy Bryant, he was encouraged to think about his future. Growing up, he enjoyed working with his hands and helping others.
“After awhile, I realized that I liked to do a lot of building, playing with Legos or wooden logs,” Bryant said. “I was also fascinated with cars and how they’re put together.”
The path toward engineering continued during his freshman year when took a class focused on technology engineering and design. During his time there, he learned about internship opportunities. Later, he took a robotics class as a sophomore and as a junior he continues to take classes in the CTE field. At CHS, Bryant is also a member of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. The group allows members to travel and experience new things.
Chris Anayiotos, manger of Schindler’s electrical engineering department, is happy to have Bryant at the plant. Anayiotos also expressed how Bryant likes to learn new things by working with other departments to learn new skills.
“He’s a very promising young man,” Anayiotos said. “He’s always asking for work. He’s always on top of things.”
Anayiotos believes the internship program, such as the one at Clinton High, is essential to give students an opportunity to learn about the workforce and needs for the future. He stressed that it’s difficult to find a lot of people in the engineering discipline, especially in the country. Anayiotos, a native of Cyprus, used himself for an example while discussing recruitment.
“With all the young people we have here, we don’t have enough engineers to cover our needs in the industry,” he said. “This internship would give the opportunity for young high school students to see the opportunities and have a better understanding of what’s out there so they can adjust their focus on the graduate studies when they go the universities.”
Kristy Moore, CTE director at CHS, said the program is in its second year of implementation.
“We partner with local businesses to host student interns in their intended career field,” Moore said.
Moore said she would like to have more businesses willing to partner with the high school to accommodate students as either interns or for job shadowing.
“Students are gaining invaluable work experience to help them learn more about their career choice,” Moore said. “CHS appreciates all that Schindler and other employees are providing for our students.”
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