A twenty-year partnership between Alfred State College (ASC), Otis Eastern, and the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) was celebrated on the Wellsville campus. The partnership has provided scholarships of over a $1,000,000 to students.
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Craig Clark emceed the celebration. “In the early 2000s, I took Charlie Joyce through the shops. He asked what Otis Eastern can do to help. I mentioned that we would like to help the students. Charlie and his company have always helped students and always helped the community. It was not too long after that they decided to work with IUOE and get some scholarships for students. We have now given scholarships through the union to forty-nine students.”
“It has been a great experience. It has made a real difference in people’s lives. It has been a great feeder system and we are excited to continue the relationship.”
The celebration included current students in Alfred State’s heavy equipment operations and truck & diesel programs along with a handful of alumni of Alfred State and this scholarship program.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Otis Eastern Casey Joyce knows the impact the program has had. “It is an important program and a successful program for the past twenty years. We are going to keep it going for the next twenty and a long time after that.”
Students that are accepted into either the heavy equipment operations or the heavy equipment truck and diesel operations can apply through the IUOE to be part of the scholarship program. If approved, students join the union and commit to working in the union after graduation for a designated amount of time to receive a scholarship that includes tuition, room & board, and tools.
IUOE Pipeline Training Director Bryan Abel knows the importance of the program. “We have no plans of stopping and we have plans to expand. It is for the betterment for the infrastructure of the United States. It is vitally important to the United States and Canada. We need to keep moving forward with it.”
Plaques were presented to both Otis Eastern and IUOE to signify the accomplishments of the partnership.
“You can’t say thank you enough to these partnership leaders. The benefits to grow and strengthen student supports through industry leaders such as the IUOE and Otis Eastern are a win for everyone involved.” stated School of Applied Technology Dean Jeff Stevens.