Return to Headlines

Alexander County’s first STEM Tour for students

STEM Tour Summary

Eighth-grade students from West Alexander Middle School participated in Alexander County’s first student STEM Tour on November 20, 2018.  The students were divided into groups and assigned to visit two of the four participating businesses.  Our appreciation extends to Hancock and Moore, Leonard’s Express, Ole Still Golf Club and Anchor-Richey EVS for allowing our students the opportunity to learn about various careers available, the necessary education needed for employment and possible salary ranges.

Students saw first-hand that Anchor-Richey EVS is not a fire department even though it may look like it as you drive by the shop.  Located in the Bethlehem community, Anchor-Richey EVS is the Carolina’s largest and most complete fire truck repair facility under one roof.  Anchor-Richey EVS not only repairs damaged fire trucks and rescue trucks but also sales parts and supplies for emergency vehicles.  They will custom build fire and rescue trucks as well as sale new ones.  Students were welcomed by owner Matthew Richey who shared a brief history of the company and encouraged the students to be willing to work.  Students were shown the office management area and inventory control, the body repair and paint bays where employees paint, design and weld parts to fit damaged equipment as well as develop parts to meet the needs of their customers.  Students completed their tour in the mechanic’s area, where they saw everyday service work to extensive engine rebuilds taking place.

Leonard’s Express is a trucking company located in the Bethlehem community.  Leonard’s Express is a family-owned company with the home office located in Farmington, NY with offices throughout the United States.  Even with 400 trucks, Leonard’s Express cannot meet the demand of their customers and brokers with other trucking firms to meet their customer’s needs.  The students visited with General Manager Jody Greene to learn what is required to run a major division of a large company.  They met with brokers to see the technology and people skills needed to be successful when dealing with clients.  The students then went outside to view and learn about the truck itself.  The final stop at the garage was where they were introduced to different levels of mechanics.  Students learned what the mechanics must do to keep a fleet of trucks in excellent operating condition.

Ole Still Golf Club features an 18-hole golf course and café.  General Manager Andrew Mayhew welcome students as they arrived.  Students were shown careers in golf course maintenance which includes the grounds and the golf carts.  They were introduced to the processes of the clubhouse:  How to book tee times, schedule golf tournaments and manage the day to day operations.  Students discovered the various careers and salary ranges for jobs in the golf industry and the restaurant business. 

Hancock and Moore, Inc. has been building custom-made furniture since 1981 and has two locations in the Bethlehem community.  Up to 80 hours are spent on each piece to manufacturer high-quality furniture customers can enjoy for years.  Students toured the sewing, upholstery and framing departments where Hancock and Moore employees shared their expertise and knowledge of their trade.  Students were informed of salary ranges and career opportunities available in the furniture manufacturing industry.

After the tours of the businesses, students alternated between two locations.  One group went on a tour of the CVCC Furniture Academy, the Welding Program and Alexander Early College.  The Other group went to East Taylorsville Baptist Church’s Gymnasium for a Lunch & Learn Presentation.  Lisa Parrish, from Duke Energy, discussed Duke Energy’s presence in North Carolina and the various jobs available.  David Coffey is the Coordinator/Instructor for the CCC & TI Electrical Lineman Training.  David presented the requirements to complete the lineman training and the potential salary for a first-year lineman.

See more photos from the tour here.