W. M. Jordan Project Manager Chad Wallace had a unique opportunity recently to help educate the students of North Carolina’s North and West Brunswick County high schools, where he is currently managing the renovation and expansion projects for both schools.
Working with the Carolinas AGC “Build Your Career” program, Wallace and various trade partners working on site showed students different pathways and career opportunities in the construction industry. Students received tours of both jobsites with a follow-up virtual classroom presentation a week later.
“This was fun for the students, who haven’t really had any field trips – in person or virtual – in over a year,” said Wallace. “It was a lot of fun to see how excited they were to get out of the classroom.”
Wallace continued, “We had great participation from our trade partners. Several of the younger workers walked with our group and told the students how they personally got into construction, about their roles and what they are working on in the project and gave a general overview of what their trade does. It was a great way to show kids the multiple career paths you can take in construction.”
The virtual presentations included more participation from trade partners, who talked with students about apprenticeship opportunities, as well as the various career paths within their trades.
Wallace believes that getting students interested in the construction industry early can make a big difference in their careers.
“No one presented this to me as an option when I was younger,” said Wallace. “I wanted kids to see that you can make a good career working in construction. There are a ton of opportunities if you are willing to learn and work hard. Getting younger people into our industry will pay dividends not only to W. M. Jordan and our trade partners, but also to the community where they live.”
Wallace has been an ambassador for Carolinas AGC Build Your Career program for several years now. He credits the program with making it easy for construction professionals to offer their advice and experience to the next generation.
“I signed up for the CAGC program a couple of years ago,” said Wallace. “The program is great. They give you all the info you need to go to schools and career fairs to give a presentation. I love what I do, but I also recognize that the industry needs good, quality people entering the workforce. This is a way for me to help with that.”
W. M. Jordan Company continues to emphasize workforce development through its intern program, student tours of its jobsites and class presentations at the K-12 level. The firm’s “Relentless Pursuit of Excellence” not only applies to its projects, but also to the next generation of construction professionals.
This article first appeared on W.M. Jordan’s website, April 29, 2021.