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Canon SPARC program introduced to students at the CTC

Canon representative is a CTC grad

When Aleksandr Thomas went to the Arlington ISD Dan Dipert Career + Technical Center last week, he had to go in the front door and sign in as a visitor.

A little different than last year when he’d come in the student entrance.

Last year at this time, he was an Arlington High School senior taking classes at the CTC. Now, Thomas is a field technician with Canon Solutions America.

He joined other Canon employees on a visit to the CTC to announce a new partnership with seniors at the school.

SPARC – Skilled Professionals at Rising Canon – offers seniors an opportunity to see and explore rewarding careers at Canon outside of the conventional higher education track. SPARC introduces the future graduates to various career options in the technical installation, maintenance and repair fields.

Canon SPARC program introduced to students at the CTC“Our goal is to provide opportunities to you for a career with Canon America,” said Steve Lucas, Canon Solutions America vice president of service central zone, to dozens of seniors in his pitch about SPARC at the CTC. “We’re here to help you think about your future and what’s coming up very quickly for all of you.”

Lucas is passionate about the perks of a career with Canon, and his palpable enthusiasm for the SPARC program stems from his own experience. He started with Canon 39 years ago as a tech trainee, and he loves his job and the company he works for.

“Find something you like,” he told the students. “If you find something you like to do, you will be good at it. If you love to do it, you’ll be great at it.”

For seniors who might be interested in following in the footsteps of Lucas or Thomas at Canon, the SPARC program can get them there.

The program runs through May and includes field trips to Canon’s Dallas regional office and a customer site, product demonstrations, meetings with industry experts and finally an opportunity to interview with Canon.

Lucas wasn’t the only Canon representative who touted the opportunities the program offers.

Henry Mceachin, a Canon branch sales director, traveled to Arlington from Indiana to share his experience with the students.

“I’m currently living my dream,” Mceachin told the students. “The opportunity to just get your foot in the door with a company like Canon – 200,000 employees, $30 billion – you can go from sales to service to support, parts to logistics to business analysts … we’re in so many different things.”

Aleksandr Thomas, former CTC student, represents Canon at SPARC announcementThomas got his foot in the door last summer with an internship that turned into a full-time job.

But it wasn’t through the SPARC program. It didn’t exist in Arlington yet. This is SPARC’s third year, but just the first in Arlington. It’s now available at only five schools in the country.

Nonetheless, Thomas was eager to promote SPARC to his former fellow students because of how much he has enjoyed his budding career at Canon.

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity,” Thomas said. “If you have an interest in anything,” he told the students, “they [Canon] probably have a position for you.”

Students interested in participating in SPARC need to write a letter about why they should be selected for the program and submit it to Canon via Kari Winters, Arlington ISD practicum specialist at the CTC.

“This is a very unique opportunity,” Winters said to the students as she encouraged them to write an application letter.