Alabama Construction News

JUL-SEP 2018

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

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20 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS JUL–SEP 2018 STUDENT SPOTLIGHT JOSH THOMAS PELHAM HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR JOSH THOMAS was one of the many Academy of Craft Training (ACT) students who took part in this year's summer internship program. Thomas was placed with Burch Corporation to do HVAC work. During his summertime work he was given the opportunity to work on two different Burch projects. One job was for Birmingham AIDS Outreach, a job Burch was hired to replace air handlers on the first and second floor of the building. Thomas got to help out during demolition of the job when the old units and duct work were taken out and installation of the new units. He also got the opportunity to assist in fabricating the new duct work in the shop. Another job he was brought in on was at Red Diamond, where the company was doing some rooftop installations. "Josh has done well," said Burch Corporation Project Manager Josh Smith. "Some of the projects he was helping out with he had already been exposed to at the Academy, so he was able to be a good extra set of hands. It was obvious he had experience with sheet metal fabrication, so he was a big help on those jobs." Thomas started with the ACT last year, focusing on HVAC. Joining the ACT was a fairly easy decision for him to make as he wanted to have a skill to work with after high school instead of relying on college. "College doesn't guarantee a job," Thomas said. "When you have a skill like one you learn at the Academy, you can get a job." Now in his second year at the ACT, Thomas is excited about what he has learned thus far and what the future holds for him in the industry. "The Academy is great because there is so much to do and learn," Thomas said. "You never get bored because there's so much equipment to learn and projects to do and then book learning as well. Getting involved in the Academy program is a great decision because you have so much to gain by being there" Thomas is also hoping to get right back into the industry after graduation after getting the opportunity to work for Burch during his summer break. "It was incredible experience getting to work at Burch," Thomas said. "It showed me what the real world is like. I would love to go back to work with Burch again." This was Burch's first participation in the ACT summer internship program—Thomas was the company's first intern from ACT—and the company is excited about their involvement in the program and what it's doing to help the future workforce. "I have been really impressed," said Smith. "The character development of these students is impressive. They are teaching these students what it means to be employable and giving them the skills needed. I have been very impressed by the level of accountability they are requiring of students and instilling in them."

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