For the past six years, Paul Miller, Elevator Mechanic Supervisor, has called on his experience with elevators at the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) to create an elevator training program for freshmen at the Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School (Phelps). It's one way Miller gives back and shares his knowledge with students, not just about elevators, but about broader career opportunities.

 

Image

The AOC's first venture with Phelps was in 2009, when employees created and taught an architecture class to first-year students. The AOC's involvement has increased over time, with various tradeselevators, welding, carpentry, painting, plastering, sheet metal, elevators, insulation, plumbing, heavy equipment, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration, electronics and electrical work.

Throughout the training, Miller gets to see a group of students transforming into engaged learners and displaying their problem solving skills to the business of elevators. By the end of the program, the students are capable of fixing a trapped elevator. Confident in their skills, Miller brings the students to the House Office Buildings to challenge them with a hands-on activity. They get the chance to examine and repair an elevator, using diagnostic tools, newly-aquired knowledge and critical thinking.

 

Image

In addition to sharing his technical expertise and breaking down the trade for the students, Miller encourages them to think more broadly about their careers. He suggests that not only could students consider a career installing and maintaining elevators, but they could also own their own company or design or engineer new elevator systems. He even gives them an idea to pique their entrepreneurial spirit: designing an elevator system that can endure the elements.

Miller interacts with students as they enter the ninth grade, and has enjoyed seeing them again at graduation when they recall what he taught themnot just the technical skills, but information he shared about working in the real world. He says, "These are bright young men and women. If they stay focused, they have unlimited growth potential."

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Recent News

Noteworthy Updates

History & Discoveries

John Adams' Carriage Ride to Washington D.C., in 1800

President John Adams issued a letter to all federal agencies on May 15, 1800, directing the "removal of the public offices, clerks and papers" from the capital city of Philadelphia. In that single sentence, Adams started the final move of the U.S. government to its permanent home, the newly created city of Washington, in the District of Columbia.
Projects

Olmsted Lanterns Restoration

The large bronze and glass lanterns are mounted on stately sandstone piers with intricately carved sandstone caps.