Alabama Construction News

JAN-MAR 2018

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

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34 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS JAN-MAR 2018 EVERY DAY THERE ARE NUMEROUS SUCCESS STORIES COMING OUT OF THE ACADEMY OF CRAFT TRAINING (ACT). ONE OF THOSE SUCCESS STORIES IS BRAXTON PIAZZA, A SENIOR AT LEEDS HIGH SCHOOL. Piazza began attending ACT this year, taking advantage of the opportunity after hearing about it at school. He chose to focus in on electrical. "There was no big reason why I chose electrical," Piazza said. "I just thought it could be interesting and that it would be a challenge." After a few weeks during the fall semester, Piazza took advantage of another opportunity: working for an ABC of Alabama member company during the Christmas break from school. He hoped to get on with Marathon Electrical Contractors, and his hopes were realized. During his two weeks at Marathon, Piazza worked in the service department, working on both industrial projects and commercial projects. He was given opportunities to perform tasks like repairing light fixtures and even going out on actual calls to various businesses. "With him being put in our service department, he was very much out there as the face of the company in front of our customers," said David Smith, director of pre construction at Marathon. "Our service department goes out to existing customers and works directly with that customer, so it's a big deal." Piazza took his knowledge from the ACT and applied it to every aspect of his internship at Marathon, and the hard work paid off. Marathon's leadership took notice. "He was very enthusiastic about what we do," said Smith. "He showed up early every day, then he stayed afterwards to talk to everyone. He also understood his role and knew that he had to act and look professional. We are always happy to have people like that interested in coming into our trade and industry." Added Bruce Taylor, president of Marathon, "He did really well while he was here. I got a chance to sit down one day and have lunch with him while he was here, and I'm excited about his interest in what we do. We're hoping that he stays interest and wants to come back after high school graduation and go to work with us. He would be able to start in our second year apprenticeship school once he completes his time at the ACT." And thus far, that's exactly what Piazza is planning to do. The time at Marathon only encouraged him to work hard at the ACT, finish school and get out into the field full time. "It was a great experience being at Marathon," Piazza said. "I like going to the ACT, but actually being out in the field and watching employees work first hand, I learned so much. That was an experience that I got through the ACT that showed me so much of what I need to know. I am hoping to get a job at Marathon when I graduate and eventually become a journeyman." Piazza's mother, Christie Piazza, couldn't be happier—at both the positive changes she's seen in her son and knowing that he has a bright future ahead of him in a field that excites him. "Before starting the ACT, he would come home from school and really say nothing about school," she said. "But now he comes home excited and telling us about what he learned at the ACT. I've seen such a change in him as far as what he wants to do. He's so focused and excited about the opportunities ahead of him. The ACT has given him a great opportunity, and as a mom, that makes me so happy." ACADEMY OF CRAFT TRAINING: A SUCCESS STORY BY PAIGE TOWNLEY The ACT has given him a great opportunity, and as a mom, that makes me so happy." – Christie Piazza, Braxton's mother

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