Alabama Construction News

JUL-SEP 2017

Alabama Construction News is the states only bimonthly magazine dedicated to the commercial construction industry.

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AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS JUL-SEP 2017 28 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS JUL-SEP 2017 OMARI GOODWIN As a student at Midfield High School, Omari Goodwin was pretty unsure about what he wanted to do after graduation. But that quickly changed after he learned about the Academy of Craft Training. Goodwin interviewed for a spot in the Academy's first class, and was able to attend and focus on HVAC. "I was very excited about the opportunity," said Goodwin. "I'm a very hands-on type of person, so when I found out about the Academy and how it worked, I wanted to be there. I wanted to take advantage of that opportunity." Throughout the school year, Goodwin's interest in HVAC increased. "I liked how the instructors taught us," Goodwin said. "I was able to learn pretty quickly. And I learned so much stuff I never knew about that goes into the job, like how to use a hand brake and how to determine the AC and DC pressure. I learned about so much. In addition, because it was a work-simulated program, I learned a lot about what it was like going to work, clocking in and clocking out. The Academy really got me ready for a real job." After graduation, Goodwin started on at H&M Mechanical, where he's learning to do all sorts of things in the shop, such as bending metal and putting it together. "He's fantastic; we couldn't be more pleased with him," said his supervisor, Shop Foreman Keith Crawford. "He shows up every morning on time and he stays all day and works hard. We have some employees who come in and have never had their hands on any of this stuff and it takes them a long time to get accustomed to it. Omari was familiar with so much about HVAC and duct work in general. It was obvious he had his hands on it before." While Goodwin has only been on the job a few months, he's appreciative of the HVAC experience he got already through the Academy—making the start of the job perhaps a little easier. "Because of my time at the Academy I'm a little more familiar with some things we do here," Goodwin said. "While I'm learning so much here, I've at least been exposed to some of the equipment and techniques. I feel like the Academy opened up so many opportunities to me and gave me a future in the HVAC business. Before the Academy of Craft Training, I didn't have a future goal." GRADUATE SPOTLIGHTS JACOB SCOTT Last year, Jacob Scott was a student at Pell City High School and one of the first at the school to attend the Academy of Craft Training. Now having graduated from both high school and the Academy, he's gone straight to work with a job at Bailey-Harris Construction. Scott first got interested in the construction industry as a child watching his stepfather. "I was probably seven or eight years old, and I'd watch him weld," Scott said. "I was fascinated with it, and would just ask and ask to get to help. When I finally got to help him weld, that was it. I loved it." During his junior year of high school, Scott found out about the Academy through his principal. After talking to his school counselor, he decided to apply. "Once I found out I was accepted into the program, I really wasn't sure what to expect," he said. "But I was excited because I knew it was going to be a great opportunity to learn all about welding." Throughout the year, Scott not only learned about his passion, welding, but all sorts of critical workplace skills. "I learned a lot," he said. "There was so much we learned about safety, OSHA and what the job of a welder is like. The program exceeded my expectations, that's for sure." During the school year, Scott also got an opportunity to intern at Goodgame Construction during Christmas break. Through that, he got invaluable experience on the job site, helping the concrete crew. "I wasn't welding, but I learned a lot by seeing and doing other crafts," Scott added. "Learning about other crafts teaches you to work with them and how to work together to get the job done." In early June—just mere days after high school graduation—Scott started his job at Bailey-Harris Construction. His first project with the company has been working at the University of Alabama on a building renovation as a labor/carpenter's helper. "Right now we're training him on how to be a carpenter and how to do a little bit of everything," said Shane Peacock, project superintendent, who is Scott's supervisor. "We've put him through fall protection training and other various safety trainings, and he's done great so far. He's had a good attitude and is showing lots of initiative." So far, Scott has thoroughly enjoyed the job and his decision to join the ranks of the construction industry. "I definitely see myself going forward in this industry," he said. "I couldn't be more grateful for my experience at the Academy, which is what led to me being where I am today." Russell Harris, executive vice president of Bailey-Harris Construction, is thrilled that they are now able to recruit trained employees from the Academy. "Students at the Academy are the future," he said. "We've been experiencing a labor shortage for probably the last couple of years, so we feel like the Academy provides us with workers for the future, and it also gives us an opportunity to invest in their future. We're proud to support the Academy and proud to have received a graduate from its first graduating class."

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