Electro-Mechanical Engineering Students Thrive at Advanced Food Products in New Holland

At the Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, we train students with the goal that they will be able to launch into lucrative careers immediately following graduation. The students who participate in our API and Co-op programs can start earning a paycheck working in their chosen field while still enrolled in their CTC program.

One shining example of the partnership between the CTC and local businesses is the Electro-mechanical Engineering program, taught by instructor Eli Martin, and Advanced Food Products in New Holland. Two former students who completed their co-op with AFP, Cole Myers ’22 and Cole Freeman ’23 continued on following graduation where they joined a thriving group of CTC alums. AFP Senior Human Resources Manager, Jodi Pace notes that CTC graduates are currently running the entire 2nd shift at AFP. Four of those work full-time, with another three working part-time while attending post-secondary schools (Thaddeus Stevens & Millersville). Jodi adds that their work ethic and dedication are evident on the job at AFP: “We are so proud of the CTC kids and the amazing job they are doing! If it weren’t for them, we would not be able to even run the 2nd shift due to the labor shortages. And these kids are awesome! They all want to learn and jump right into work. Juggling school and work is hard, and 3 of them are doing it!”

The video below offers sneek peek of some of the advanced technologies used at AFP.

This year, another of Mr. Martin’s students is working at AFP through the Cooperative Education Program: Rory Bender. Rory, a senior from the Columbia school district, plans on continuing his co-op through the summer at AFP before he heads to Penn State in the fall. He decided to do his co-op at AFP following a tour of the facility earlier in the school year. Rory describes AFP as a great place to gain hands-on experience, diagnosing problems on various machines and understanding all the variables that can cause different outcomes on each. He hopes to use that experience to inform his studies in electro-mechanical engineering in college.

The experience our students gain during co-op greatly benefits their career trajectories and informs them what life is like in their field of interest before graduation. Mr. Martin adds that the jobs available to his students are not just minimum-wage positions. At AFP, maintenance technicians can earn anywhere from $24-$40 an hour and have graduated from the CTC with the skills and prior experience needed already on their resumes.

Besides Rory, Mr. Martin has students participating in co-ops across Lancaster County. They include:

Laurent Duvert, Ephrata – Astro Machine Works
Aiden Richie, Warwick – Highland Tank
Robert Cox Jr., Columbia – East Penn Manufacturing
Mike Caplinger, Warwick – Baldwin Electric
Brendon Hilton, Hempfield – KRB Machinery
Joey Van Cleve, Lampeter-Strasburg – Stryten Energy
Peyton Scheuerman, Manheim Township – Stryten Energy

We are proud to continue the pipeline of skilled workers into our local workforce, and hope to further upon the success our CTC grads have already built at AFP! If you are curious about Continuing Education opportunities, visit our website or send questions to our Workforce Coordinator, Dr. Susan Weinand, sweinand@lancasterctc.edu.

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