Business course

A recent Guilford graduate collects tools donated by local businesses for his former workshop class

GUILFORD — Carson Tosta, a 2022 Guilford High School graduate, continues to work to improve his alma mater’s shop class for future generations.

With his degree in hand and his eyes set on attending Rochester Institute of Technology, the 18-year-old embarked on a solo project to add more hand tools, metal fabrication machinery and tools. tires to class including screwdrivers, wrenches/wrench sets. , drill press, C-clamps, grinders, sanders, calipers, lathe tools and torque wrenches.

Tosta said he felt there was a need for these specific tools.

“It’s going to allow students to use these tools while they work on many other projects,” he said. “Before, we had to use shared tools. This allows students to bring one of these carts, bring a set of tools, and work on their own project. »

“It gets more things done, faster,” he said.

Local businesses and individuals quickly responded to a Facebook post to donate the requested tools and equipment.

“It’s great to make friends, to make contacts,” said Peter Palumbo, owner of Palumbo’s Automotive in Guilford. “He’s a networker and I like that about him.”

Tosta’s major at RIT will be mechanical engineering, but working on cars has always been a passion of his.

“I have a few old classic cars at home that I have restored, including one that I do for my mother because of all she has done for me,” he said, referring to the His mother’s 1964 Volvo.

Standing next to him, his mother, Donna Tosta, said she and her husband, Scott, were very proud of their son.

“He’s always been a great kid, as far as looking out for the needs of the community,” she said.

“He went through the (Boy) Scouts here in town, did his Eagle (Scout) at 15,” Donna Tosta said. “He did the Bittner (Park) posts and signs for the disc golf course. He’s always had that community spirit. »

Tosta and his mother stood in the parking lot of Palumbo’s Automotive where Palumbo worked alongside his employee, Richie Roonie and Jim Betulia, owner of Guilford Texaco, assembling a motor winch, to lift an engine under the hood of a car.

This piece of equipment was donated by Guilford Texaco, along with an LED flashlight, vacuum and fuel pump tester, and belt sander.

The following local businesses donated: Page Hardware & Appliance, $250 store credit; Palumbo’s, two metal tool boxes, jack, torque wrench and socket organizers; Sean Hosmer, representing Shoreline Snap-On Tools, a quarter-inch screwdriver set and socket set; Lela and Matt’s Car Care Clinic, $500 in tools; and the Guilford Community Fund, $500 gift card.

“It’s amazing to me that there are so many people in the community who care and will do whatever they can to help young people improve the quality of their education, as well as give them the tools to start something. thing in their life that they can find a passion and carry on with it,” Tosta said.

Many members of the community joined the project.

“When you have something in the community, we all want to be part of it,” Hosmer said. “With my shore-based business and Guilford being part of my itinerary, I just felt like it was something to do, just because we can and it’s a good cause.”

Lela Stokes, co-owner of Lela and Matt’s Care Clinic, applauded Tosta’s efforts.

“Carson is an incredible young man,” she said. “What he has done is just amazing. Where he’s going to be in life, I can’t wait to see.

“I love seeing kids getting their hands dirty and wanting to learn more about this industry,” she said. “There is currently a national shortage of people in the trades, so anything we can do about it, we will.”

Betulia also lamented the shortage of young men and women entering automotive trades.

“Anyone who is interested in it, we welcome it,” he said, adding that he currently has two interns working in his store.

“This business is going to fall by the wayside if we don’t help get people interested,” he said.

Tosta spoke of being inspired by other students in his metalwork shop class.

“Every time I walked into the classroom, I saw kids who were really excited and really inspired to be able to do things of their own making, of their own design, going from pen and paper to a physical object, whether it’s on a CDC machine or on a milling machine or a lathe or just welding something together,” he said.

“I saw how excited people were and that inspired me too,” he said. “I wanted to give them something to add on top of that, so they could go further.”

“I thought to myself that if we had what we always said we needed, we could dramatically improve our program, like more opportunities,” he said.

Principal Julia Chaffe echoed this.

“I think he had such a positive experience with our tech classes that he wanted to do something nice for his teacher who helped him so much through his four years of high school,” she said. declared.

“I think it’s an incredibly gracious thing of him and I think it shows incredible respect for the work that our tech education teachers do every day,” she said. “His real goal was to improve on what already exists.”