By Janelle Davis
Last month, the business teachers at Cicero-North Syracuse High School took the students to visit Adam Weitsman at Upstate Shredding.
Upstate Shredding-Weitsman Recycling is the East Coast’s largest privately owned scrap metal processor and recycling center. It is one of the largest operations of its kind in the United States.
Weitsman is the successful entrepreneur and CEO of the family business, so it comes as no surprise that CNS business teachers would want to expose their students to such leadership.
Weitsman is the type of person who is always striving to support his local community by donating to charities in the area and offering help when he can, including sharing his time and insight with students when he can.
Two years ago, Linda Dwyer, a CNS High School business teacher, mentioned to her peers how it would be interesting for the students to meet Weitsman.
From that initial idea, a visit was eventually arranged at the Elephant and the Dove, one of Weitsman’s Skaneateles restaurants.
The guests were treated to lunch and they sat down with Weitsman to conduct and question and answer session.
“Adam shared his entrepreneurial journey with the students,” Dwyer said. “He was really honest about his life, the mistakes he had made, and what he did to repair them. He shared what goes into starting a business.”
Dwyer knew how valuable that visit was for the students and how it aligned with what they were learning about the entrepreneurial process.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to take the students to Upstate Shredding and actually see the process and what happens at the recycling plant,” Dwyer wondered.
Weitsman agreed, so they were off to the Upstate Shredding facility. Students were given a complete tour of the center, along with another Q&A session with Weitsman.
“My husband brought our food truck, Wolf’s Patio Pizza, down and served everybody pizza. We just made it a fun, a great learning day,” Dwyer said.
Weitsman showed students and staff the whole process of how cars and different materials come in and get crushed. The tour included how a car goes up a conveyor belt and gets compressed down to the size of a ball. They learned about the shredding process separating the different materials and then selling them to other companies who recycle the materials into other products.
Students were given much more than their detailed tour of how Upstate Shredding processes scrap metal.
“What was incredible was even after the Q&A, Adam took the time to have one-on-one conversations with the students,” Dwyer said. “He is so generous, and this experience was larger than life for the students packed with information.”