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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STUDENT SPOTLIGHTS MARIO PRIMM Mario Primm grew up hearing about the HVAC business from his grandfather. "He used to come home and tell me stories," Primm said. "I'd learn about the work he was doing to help build important buildings and how it all worked. So that kind of started an interest for me, but I never really thought I would end up doing it." Primm got his chance to get that hands-on HVAC experience at the Academy of Craft Training last year during his senior year at Clay-Chalkville High School. "I learned a lot," he said. "Mr. Crow, the HVAC instructor, was a great teacher and he taught me so much, from safety to how to read blueprints to the refrigeration process." Primm entered the Academy with the goal of learning as much as he could. That goal was realized, and it led to him getting a job after high school with H&M Mechanical. Since June, he's been working in the company's training program as an apprentice. "So far the job has been great," Primm said. "I've loved it. I've been doing different tasks to help out and get the duct prepped for hanging." His supervisor, H&M Mechanical Superintendent Dennis McMurrey, adds, "Mario is a very well-mannered employee, and he's very polite. He's on time, if not early. He's young and just out of school but he's so willing to learn, and that can be hard to find in an employee these days." Helping Primm find success in his new position at H&M is what he learned at the Academy—something he is quick to acknowledge. "Without a doubt the Academy helped me get ready for this," he said. "It was at the Academy that I learned how to be safe in the environment I'm in right now. I would tell anybody interested in the Academy to always listen to the instructors when they talk. Everything they say is important." QUINTIN MCKINSTRY AND RYAN RICHARDSON completed their first years at the Academy of Craft Training (ACT) last year, and they both will be returning during their senior year of high school this year. Richardson, now a senior at Wenonah High School, studied electrical at the Academy last year after finding out about the program one day at school. "They talked to us about the different types of crafts and the opportunities in each one," he said. "It really gave me a vision. So when I got the opportunity, I took it." He didn't have much background or knowledge about the craft when he started, but after a year in the Academy, he has learned all about it with various hands-on learning activities. "The instructors taught us so well," Richardson said. "They take their time with you to make sure you understand and break it all down so it's not confusing. I'm excited to be back in the Academy this year." During the summer, Richardson interned at Marathon Electrical Contractors, putting his new skills to work. "Working at Marathon has been great," he said. "They really welcomed me in and I got to work. I would love to do this again." Quintin McKinstry, also a senior this year at Wenonah High School, participated at the Academy last year as well. He also focused in on electrical after learning about the options at school. "When they came to our school and talked to us, I really thought the Academy seemed like a great opportunity to learn new things," he explained. "And electrical was a good fit for me." At the Academy, McKinstry has learned how to do various tasks, such as wiring a light box and switches, as well as how to wire a panel. He's been utilizing these skills over the summer during his internship at Marathon. "I've really been enjoying it here at Marathon," he said. "After this and learning so much at the Academy, I want to pursue a career in this. My plan is to enter the workforce after graduation, specifically in the electrical field." Richardson and McKinstry were both placed at Marathon through InTime Staffing, a company that works with ABC to coordinate staffing needs for ABC member companies, matching students interested in internships or jobs with various construction-related companies. "We work with ABC to coordinate which students from each craft could fit the needs of ABC member companies," said Bob Shoulders of InTime Staffing. After matching a student and company, InTime Staffing manages much of the screening process for the companies, performing the necessary background checks, and then actually employs the student for a period of time before the student can be hired on full-time by the company. "We are able to step in and provide some services that many companies may not have the time to do or may not be staffed to do," Shoulders said. "Our goal is to have these internships and jobs turn into permanent positions that not only provide the student with a job but fill an important need within the industry." QUINTIN MCKINSTRY RYAN RICHARDSON 29 JUL-SEP 2017 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS

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