Carroll Electric, Buckeye Career Center collaborate, bring new life to aging Christmas displays

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CCM/ Thomas Clapper Buckeye Career Center students who restored Christmas light displays and visited Carroll Electric last week shown standing at the Santa and Reindeer display. Front row (left to right): Grant Hopkins, Drake Naylor and Aden Trushell. Back row: Connor Marshall, Micky Betts, Elijah Forrest and Mason Ohler. Naylor and Michael Zurowski (who assisted but is not pictured) are from Carrollton.

By Thomas Clapper
Carroll Electric Cooperative, Inc. opened its doors to Buckeye Career Center’s Electrical Systems Technology students Dec. 14 for a tour and pizza party in return for the class restoring an outdoor Christmas light display.
Electrical Systems Technology Instructor Jeremy Burdick brought students Grant Hopkins, Drake Naylor, Aden Trushell, Connor Marshall, Micky Betts, Elijah Forrest and Mason Ohler to Carroll Electric. Those who worked on the project but could not make the trip were Jackson Mann, Michael Zurowski, Seth Riley, Hector Calel-Baten, Brennan Fox, and Cody Robinson.
“We tried to repair the Christmas displays ourselves by rewiring Christmas lights on the frames, but a light intended for a deer eye wouldn’t line up and it just turned into a mess, really,” said A.J. Atkinson, manager of marketing and member services at Carroll Electric. “Our Warehouse Coordinator Ken Richards recommended giving Buckeye Career Center a call to see if they could help. The Buckeye Career Center’s Electrical Systems Technology class accepted immediately.”
Carroll Electric provided the necessary materials including wiring and sockets at no cost to the class.
Students stripped the displays and totally restored the displays by sanding the rusted frames, repainting, rewiring, stringing the lights, re-socketing and more.
“We are always looking for ways to do community outreach, particularly with the youth,” said Atkinson. “The kids have parents who are customers of ours and we like to make that connection and other opportunities for the kids to learn about Carroll Electric as well as trade school scholarships for high school students.”
“It was approximately 10 hours per frame, and the five frames so far have over 50 total hours into the restoration,” said Burdick. “This really fit in with our project/work-based learning we expose students to. We want students to experience real work experience and community service when possible.”
Carroll Electric’s General Manager and CEO Larry Fenbers visited students and had lunch with them.
“These kids are from a lot of different schools and were quiet at the beginning of the year,” said Burdick. “Now they have become friends and a small community over the course of working on several projects. As a teacher I like to see that.”
The project is ongoing and will serve another year of instruction for Buckeye Career Center’s Electrical Systems Technology students through next December.
“The students were able to finish five of the 10 frames for this December and will have the remaining figures finished by next December,” said Atkinson. “They really did a great job and we at Carroll Electric are happy to make that connection of community outreach between us and the students.”

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