Left to right: Kevin Cacace (President of the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce and Yonkers School Board trustee), Dr. Edwin Quezada (Superintendent of Yonkers Schools), Reverend Steve Lopez (President of the Yonkers School Board), Mike Breen (Yonkers City Council - District 5), Susan S. Naber (Principal, Vive/Yonkers Pathway To Success School), Chuck Lesnick (representing the N.Y. State Governor's office), Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano (with Proclamation), Bob Schaeffer, Michael Bonardi and Nunzio Meccariello of D&D.
In a series of events this past Fall, D&D Elevator of Elmsford, NY opened its new Elevator Learning Center at 200 Corporate Boulevard in Yonkers, NY, just a few minutes north of New York City. In addition to classroom space, the 2,500-square-foot facility includes workshop areas where actual, real-life elevator mechanical equipment – donated by various companies throughout the elevator industry – is set up for use in hands-on training sessions. The setup also includes advanced communications technology that allows students anywhere to visually interact online with instructors, using high-definition video streamed with high-fidelity audio.
At the October 3rd ribbon cutting event, D&D CEO and President Bobby Schaeffer demonstrated how the distance learning program will work, and spoke about how this would open opportunity and education to young people regardless of their location. “We’re working to develop new talent,” said Schaffer. “While most kids today are continuing to opt for pursuing college degrees, we’re looking to develop a viable opportunity for young people who prefer to pursue a different path. We believe it’s vital to make available this kind of education, to give young people incentive to join this trade, the elevator industry.”
“The reality is that college isn’t for everyone,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano at an October 17th media conference as he welcomed the Elevator Learning Center to the city. “It is so exciting that D&D is enabling a solid middle-class living for kids and young people who would prefer working at a trade to an academic pursuit.” The Elevator Learning Center is in talks with the Yonkers school system about creating programming for its Trades and Technical High School, to create a feeder program for later entry into an apprenticeship program at the Center.
Bob Schaeffer demonstrating distance learning at the Elevator Learning Center, advanced communications technology that allows students anywhere to visually interact online with instructors, using high-definition video streamed with high-fidelity audio.
At the media conference, Mayor Spano, accompanied by numerous Yonkers community leaders, presented D&D with a proclamation for its contribution to the Yonkers community. Schaeffer, alongside D&D partners Michael Bonardi and Nunzio Meccariello, stated that for him the formal opening of the Center was bringing great personal satisfaction. “For me it’s very exciting. I was involved early on in the actual process to create the Certified Elevator Technician (CET) program and the accreditation process. We have an accreditation from ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute),” he said.
Schaeffer noted that since its founding in 1981, safety has been D&D’s number one concern, not only for the public that rides the elevators serviced by the company, but equally for the technicians who install them and keep them maintained.
“Safety is the number one important issue for us, and a leading factor in what we are teaching here now,” he emphasized. “Travel by elevator traditionally has been among the very safest forms of transportation and D&D is committed to doing what it can to keep it that way.”