When Mohawk Valley Community College was in dire need of help replacing one of its snow removal vehicles, Oneida County and the college’s Welders Among Communities (WAC) Club joined forces to keep the parking lots clear.
The county answered the call by loaning the MVCC a front-end loader this winter which was instrumental in dealing with the latest major snowfall, but there was only one problem: The old snow blade was too big and didn’t attach correctly. So MVCC’s Mike McHarris, Director of Facilities and Operations, turned to WAC to see if they could come up with a solution – and they did.
After several planning discussions under the guidance of Assistant Professor Mike Sorrentino, who teaches the welding program at MVCC, WAC members resolved to design, fabricate and build a new snow blade that attaches to the bucket of the front-end loader.
“This was a great experience for the students to use the skills they’ve learned in a real-world application,” said Sorrentino. “I think this really opened the kids’ eyes to what they can accomplish. Seeing a massive project completed from start to finish in less than three weeks, I have to give kudos to everyone.”
Sorrentino, with the assistance of adjunct welding instructor Shane Ramnarine and three club members, designed, fabricated and painted a fourteen foot snow blade for the campus. The project started over Christmas break with everyone working countless hours to make this snow pusher ready for snow.
McHarris and Sorrentino estimated this project saved the college approximately $3,000 to have this fabricated in house. McHarris added that he was thankful for the loan of the front-end loader this winter.