Obtaining a degree was always a priority for me. Timing was the hard part. My children are college graduates, and I wanted the same for myself. When I was finally able to go back to school a few years ago, I chose Johnson C. Smith University’s Metropolitan College, an undergraduate degree program for adults and non-traditional students. From 2016 to 2020, I worked full time in commercial property management, held a part-time job in retail, and attended school in the evenings. Then one day a position for an Operations Administrative Assistant at A M King caught my eye and I began a journey that stretched my perception of what education was all about.
The company’s name, A M King, sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t remember why until I saw Brian King’s name. We had worked for the same construction management company years prior and when I continued to investigate, I noticed a couple of other people employed at A M King whom I recalled meeting. When I graduated, I wanted to pursue a career that would be a good fit for my goals. I got the job with A M King, which not only provided me with stability and opportunity to grow, but also the support needed to successfully complete the requirements for my college degree – which I hoped to finish the following year.
A Multidimensional Experience
After starting with A M King in 2021, I discovered that company leadership fully supports all efforts dedicated to ongoing education and training for employees. The company collects and tracks hours earned towards individual training and community involvement. This impressed me. Although I don’t work on a jobsite, I became more interested in our projects and found myself studying cold storage, distribution and the food industry from our multiple platforms — operations meetings, company newsletters, podcasts, blogs, videos, training calls, magazines and so much more. The company and its culture sparked interest I wasn’t aware that I had before.
When I think of education now, I realize that the word “education” holds so much beauty and complexity. In the obvious sense, it’s about schooling. In a broader sense, it’s about expanding your mind and your heart. A M King supports this multidimensional aspect of education in two ways: (1) by funding and providing on-going training and education opportunities for its employees; (2) and by supporting education initiatives in our communities.
In my role, I organize and coordinate ongoing internal training programs, including all safety and OSHA training. I also enjoy representing the company in several community partnerships, such as the one A M King has established with Charlotte’s Starmount Academy of Excellence — a Pre-K through fifth grade Title 1 public school where nearly all the 420 students participate in free or reduced lunch programs.
Finally, forging strong relationships with the universities we attended is so important. Our experts regularly participate in university career fairs; offer internships to architecture, construction management and marketing students; contribute to campus fundraising events, serve on advisory boards, sponsor collegiate sporting events; prepare projects for student competitions; and deliver lectures.
Coming Full Circle
This past August, I gave a lecture about education to the Women Executives (WE) of Charlotte’s. 2022-2023 WINGS scholarship recipients. I wanted to pass the torch to the next group of scholars who might be navigating a journey similar to mine. I told them it’s not just about reaching goals or earning degrees—although I am so proud of the Bachelor of Science degree I earned in Business Administration in May 2022. What’s important is how we use our wins to make a difference in the lives of others, in our communities and at the companies where we work. I’m doing my part through continued involvement with WE, volunteer work with multiple organizations, and with help from my colleagues at A M King.
A M King’s goal is to be known as the leading integrated Design-Build firm serving the niche markets of food processing, food distribution and industrial manufacturing. We also want to consistently educate our employees, keep a safe work environment, and leave a lasting impression of our generosity in our community. I am now part of a diverse, collective team that will contribute to this company’s success. I will share my experiences, time and energy with those who may benefit from it. That’s education coming full circle.
About the Author – Cheryl Moore is Operations Administrative Assistant at A M King.
This article is an abbreviated version of an A M King blog published on the company’s website on September 7, 2022. Reprinted and modified with permission. To read Cheryl’s full article and/or to subscribe to A M King’s monthly blogs, visit https://amkinggroup.com/blog/why-we-champion-education-at-a-m-king