Student finds the perfect spot for his work study: “Definitely pick Valley View”

April 10, 2024

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There’s a new face on Valley View’s Campus Services team, the group that oversees maintenance, snow removal, repairs, and keeping our physical plant running smoothly across the Haven, Memory Lane, the Terrace, and cottages in the Village. Kale Stimely is a senior at Mifflin County High School and is studying electrical installation at Mifflin County Academy of Science and Technology. 

“I started out at another company this year,” Kale said, ”But I wasn’t getting the hours that I needed to be able graduate.” As part of the program’s work-study program, students have classes in the morning and then work at a business to gain real-life experience. When his initial placement didn’t fit, his teacher reached out to Mike Minium, Director of Campus Services at Valley View. 

When Kale interviewed for the job, Mike told him that the position would be more than just electrical installation that he was studying at the Academy. Kale quickly realized that was a huge understatement. 

“I’ve learned how to repair drywall, do masonry, cove base, build a fireplace, install a sink, and do a total renovation of a team breakroom,” he counts off on his fingers. “I’ve learned so much.”

Beyond hard skills, he is learning soft skills like communication, teamwork, and adaptability. And he’s discovering that he really enjoys watching residents’ faces light up when they see him come into a room. “I love getting the smiles and ‘hi’s’,” he says. 

“There’s a lot of stuff that goes into running a retirement community,” he says. “I never realized how much maintenance work would go into keeping this kind of campus running smoothly. The team does a lot of work behind the scenes.”

His favorite thing? “Getting to work with Mike,” he says without hesitation. “He’s very, very smart and he has so much experience. He’s not super formal or set in his ways, and I’ve learned a lot from him.”

Soon, Kale will be graduating with his diploma and several hundred hours of experience in electrical work, drywall installation, HVAC, and plumbing. He’s heading to Pennsylvania College of Technology for more training in automation engineering. He says that what he’s learned at Valley View will help him throughout his life. “When something goes wrong in my future house, I don’t to have to call someone to do it.”

But before he goes, he has some advice for upcoming students as they choose their work-study program. “Definitely come to Valley View. You will improve your people skills, and it’s a great work atmosphere. You will learn a lot about an incredible diversity of things.”