Beattie Career Center instructor mentors next-generation workforce

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 | 12:01 AM


Scott Miller has taught at the A.W. Beattie Career Center in McCandless for so long, he is working on his second generation of students.

Miller, a heating, ventilating and air conditioning instructor, said the fathers of two incoming students are former students of his.

Miller, 57, of Prospect, Butler County, began teaching at the center in 1984.

He grew up in Hampton and is a 1979 graduate of the center, which offers programs to students in grades 10-12 who reside in nine northern Allegheny County school districts.

In HVAC, students learn heating installation and service, plumbing, electrical wiring, refrigeration and sheet metal fabrication. Students who complete the program can look forward to jobs as a union apprentice, service technician, maintenance technician, electrician, plumber, refrigeration mechanic and air-conditioning technician.

Miller, who teaches second and third-year students, said some students have gone on to own businesses.

One of those students is Jason Boyd, a 1998 graduate who employs mostly Beattie graduates for Hampton Mechanical, a commercial HVAC and sheet metal contractor.

Boyd, 39, said Miller is incredibly smart and a good teacher.

“He has a way of explaining things that make sense,” Boyd said. “He’s a mentor.”

Miller said a lot of it is being consistent with the kids.

“I try to be honest,” he said. “They’ve been really receptive.”

Miller, who is married and has four children and stepchildren, said he works for the parents.

Beattie instructor Roy Hughes works alongside Miller, and said Miller reminds him of the TV action hero MacGyver.

“He does diagnostics like I’ve never seen anyone in my life,” said Hughes, 63, of Shaler. “Seeing his whole attitude, (there is) not a mean bone in his body.

“His skills, his whole background (are) fantastic. I’d cut off my right arm for him.”

Hughes said Miller is like a brother or father.

Beattie graduate Bill Steiner, 46, of Franklin Park, works as a electrician and said Miller has been generous with career advice.

“He’s really good at what he does,” Steiner said. “He puts in 110 percent for kids.”