Dario Sforza, superintendent and principal of Carlstadt-East Rutherford Regional School District, and Scott Lampmann, the founder president of EliteCAD Designs and a graduate of Henry P. Becton Regional High School, teamed up to offer apprenticeships to students in modeling, coordinating, detailing and scanning commercial mechanical and electrical systems in three dimensions.
“EliteCAD Designs is one of our career exploration internship partners,” Sforza said. “We at Henry P. Becton Regional High School started a program about five years ago that centers on quality internships for high school seniors. The internships are based on students’ interests, passions, and post-secondary plans.”
EliteCAD Designs is a commercial modeling and coordination firm based in Lyndhurst and established in 2012. The company specializes in providing 3-D modeling for fabrication, coordination, logistics, and scanning of commercial mechanical and electrical systems. Lampmann and Vice President Greg Tschaikowsky boast more than 40 years of combined experience with expertise in commercial mechanical systems construction, as well as design and engineering for new construction and retrofit projects.
Lampmann is also a 1997 graduate of Henry P. Becton Regional High School. He started his career as a sheet metal worker.
“Even as an installer, I came to the crossroads of we do not have good installation drawings,” he said. “The cost of construction labor is expensive. I came up with a routine that I feel like works well in construction. We model and coordinate the whole building in 3-D. We are modeling and coordinating the entire building prior to construction beginning.”
Becton Regional students Andre Chumpitat and Salome Siradze are his interns and they are making a difference. Chumpitat designed blueprints of the proposed new school structure. Siradze is doing marketing.
“I will take his rendering and present it to my board and different organizations that may necessitate what we are looking to do here at Becton Regional High School,” Sforza said.
“Salome has great communications skills and knows how things are supposed to look. She was initially timid,” Lampmann said. “She has now assimilated to EliteCAD Designs. She is taking the marketing seriously. She is requesting better versions of software. Andre is doing laser scans. He took Dr. Sforza’s ideas and designed them. Not everybody who is a high school senior is motivated. Having these two young interns we are fostering an opportunity for growth and success.”
Becton Regional enrolls about 525 students at its East Rutherford campus. Seniors go through career inventories that include resume-building and communication skills before they are placed in internships, Sforza said.
“These are high-quality internships,” he added. “We realize students who are part of a high-level internship program have built skills that cannot be matched in a regular classroom setting.”
Sforza said he wants to provide an experience where students learn widely transferable skills. “The beauty of having partnerships with corporate businesses like EliteCAD Designs is they have multiple different departments,” Sforza said.
He likened his approach to that of ridesharing pioneer Uber in that the program is flexible and tailored to his students. He uses this metaphor to show there are many paths to reach someone’s career destination.
“You do not have to take the same expensive taxi,” Sforza said. “There is not just one yellow taxi route to reach your destination. There are other routes that get you there potentially faster and at a much cheaper rate.”
Sforza said Becton Regional is starting to build a career technical education program that should begin in September 2021 in partnership with EliteCAD Designs and county technical schools. He envisions expanding all technical education offerings in the newly enlarged school.
Seniors are learning computer-information technology geared toward engineering, architectural design, 3-D animated designs, and robotics.
“The skills our students are learning from a technical standpoint are very specific and strong information technology and computer-aided design skills that can be adapted to the construction, architectural, and engineering fields,” Sforza said.