COLUMBUS, Ohio — For 2020 Russia High School graduate Adam Dapore, hard work at an early age has paved the way to a bright future.
“After my freshman year, which had been the summer of 2017, I started cleaning rail. And I wanted to open my mind to other things, so I got offered the chance to weld back here and I jumped the opportunity," said Dapore.
After six months of training at Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Troy, Dapore was hired at Superior Aluminum Products in Russia, Ohio, an industry leader in custom aluminum railings, columns and fencing.
He's also another success story of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which pairs high school and trade school students with manufacturers.
Superior Aluminum Products President Doug Borchers said it's a win-win for manufactures and students alike.
“There was a strategy to get younger and one of the things we decided to do was to find young people who weren't planning to go to college or to move away, that wanted to stay within the area and wanted to get involved in area businesses," said Borchers.
Ohio MEP reimburses 50% of student wages and last year, 80% of interns were offered full-time employment by the end of their internship.
“The MEP program through Ohio is a good opportunity to learn valuable manufacturing skills. We're real big on culture around here, so finding someone who fits our culture and has those same values that we have. Folks that are interested in getting started here at a young age and working until retirement is what we're after," said Superior Aluminum Products HR Director Craig Flessinger.
Adam Dapore said he has no regrets and at the age of 20, he has a good-paying job at a multi-generational, family-run company and plenty of opportunity for growth.
“Other people are going to college, paying $15,000 to $20,000 per year to get a degree where they're not even guaranteed a job somewhere and they don't know how much they're going to get paid at that job. Just in case if something doesn't work out, you at least have something to fall back on get you on your feet or open up a whole new opportunity for you," said Dapore.
Superior Aluminum Products said they will will continue to seek out high school and tech school students through the Ohio MEP Program. For more information on Superior Aluminum Products, click here.
For more information on the Ohio MEP Program click here.