07 Dec Building structures – and character – at East Career and Technical Academy

For East Career and Technology Academy (ECTA) construction technology teacher Fausto Vega, his greatest satisfaction comes from seeing his students succeed. And succeed they do, both academically and as charitable ambassadors to the local community.

Vega teaches his students all aspects of construction, including foundations, framing, drywall, exterior finishes, concrete, residential wiring, stucco, roofing and more. His students also receive residential and electrical certifications that will help them get viable jobs in the construction industry after graduation. “Some of my students are enrolled at UNLV, studying alongside college students who have not yet earned the same certifications. They are ahead of the game.”

Vega noted that this is a great time for students who are interested in construction, with significant construction projects such as the Raiders stadium under way. “The construction industry is booming in Las Vegas.”

Principal Darlin Delgado said Vega goes above and beyond for his students, school and community. “Mr. Vega is more than a teacher. He is also a role model and mentor for the students at East Tech.”

Construction management opens up a wide variety of opportunities for students. “This field of study can help students go into careers such as structural engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, architecture, interior design and much more,” explained Vega. He works closely with Martin-Harris and other local construction companies, resulting in paid internships for his students.

A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Vega has been with the Clark County School District (CCSD) both as a student and a teacher. He graduated from Area Technical Trade Center (ATTC) in 1993 and worked in the construction industry before joining CCSD as a teacher at his alma mater 20 years ago. “Coming from the industry, I know what they are looking for in employees and can share that knowledge with my students.”

Besides their impressive school-related talents, Vega’s students are also known for what they do in the community. “Everything we do has a purpose. If we build a structure, it will go to someplace like a homeless youth association, Three Square or a local school.” One example is a storage shed Vega’s students recently built for Eileen B. Brookman Elementary School.

Vega’s students have also ventured into what might be called the world of medieval construction, building two catapults and a trebuchet for a recent pumpkin-launching event at the Silverton Casino. Yes, catapults and a trebuchet, not your ordinary construction projects. “That work was fun, and required a lot of physics and geometry.” It’s worth noting that the trebuchet was quite effective, launching pumpkins 150 feet.

The other teacher in the ECTA construction management program is Cesar Vega, who happens to be Fausto’s cousin and joined ECTA last year. “Cesar is an experienced architect, and his background is very helpful to his students,” explained Fausto.

Delgado added, “Cesar Vega has been a great addition to the construction program and together, these cousins are a dynamic duo, increasing the college and career opportunities available for students at ECTA.”