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JVS student signing with Hill International Trucks

Contributed READY TO GO — Tomasso Toriscelli, a senior automotive service tech student at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School, signed a letter of intent to hire at Hill International and has an opportunity to attend a 14-month training academy in Chicago to become a master certified technician for the company. Joining him were, from left, front, his mother Lori; and Hill International Service Manager Erzhi Herman; back, power mechanics instructor Fred Jones, JVS Superintendent Todd Phillipson and AST instructor Ron Reasoner.

BLOOMINGDALE — Jefferson County Joint Vocational School student Tomasso Toriscelli is getting his career in gear after showing his intent to work for Hill International Trucks.

Toriscelli, the son of Gregg and Lori Toriscelli of Steubenville and a senior at Catholic Central High School, attends the JVS’s automotive service tech program and signed a letter of intent to hire with the company, which includes an opportunity to attend a 14-month training program in Chicago.

Toriscelli has been part of Hill’s apprenticeship program as a diesel mechanic since December and will become a full-time employee upon graduation.

Erzhi Herman, service manager at the St. Clairsville location, said he has a chance to attend the Uptime Academy in August with other area apprentices.

“He’ll start working for us full-time after he graduates high school,” she said. “Hill International pays for room, board and education and it’s close to a $60,000 investment.”

Toriscelli and two others from company locations in East Liverpool and Eighty-Four, Pa., could head to the academy and train to become International master certified technicians, which allows them to work at any of Hill’s nationwide facilities.

Norman explained that trainees spend two weeks at a time at the academy and return to their worksites to implement what they have learned.

“They do in-class and hands-on interaction on modules and learn the brakes, suspension (and other components), then they have to apply what they’ve learned for two weeks on the shop floor and have a mentor.”

She said apprentices are assessed for three to six months to discern whether they would be “a good fit” for the academy, and Toriscelli has already proven to be a model work. Herman sees him becoming a true asset to the facility in the future.

“He comes in with a great attitude. We look for workers with a great attitude with a willingness to learn and do the job,” she commented. “He walks in with a smile every day. I wish we had a lot of Tomassos, he’s such a joy.”

Toriscelli’s mother, Lori, couldn’t be prouder and he himself was pleased to have the chance to forge a successful future.

“It’s been great. I’ve learned a lot so far and I’m continuing to learn,” he said.

His current apprenticeship is a five-year program Ron Reasoner and Fred Jones, AST and power mechanics instructors at JVS respectively, helped him obtain the opportunity. Toriscelli is the second JVS student to head to Hill, the last being 2020 graduate J.T. Hojonski, a power mechanics student will likely serve as his mentor.

Reasoner was proud of his pupil and said he will go far.

“This is fantastic. This is an opportunity of a lifetime with Hill International and we’re certainly going to miss him,” Reasoner concluded.

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