Have you ever found yourself making a goofy smile when you see a good deed or experience something amazing?
Yep, that was me on Friday, May 3rd.
In the early morning hours, the Exchange Park filled with students and career-ready youth geared up to take home the trophy and the bragging rights at the 2nd Annual Build A Shed competition.
- Berkeley High School – Samet Corporation, Precision Walls
- Burke High School – Charleston County Facilities
- Charleston County School of Arts – Hitt Contracting, Feyen Zylstra
- Cross High School – Centennial, Bonitz
- Eckerd Connects – Trident Construction, Thompson Turner Construction, Cullum Mechanical Construction
- R.B. Stall High School – Miller-Valentine Group, Yellowstone Landscape
- Wando High School – Choate Construction, Quantum Coatings, LLC
Participants had the opportunity to be a construction worker for a day and learn from experienced professionals coaching them on site. Teams were paired with contractors and instructed to build an 8′ x 11′ shed in seven hours with the same blueprint – all while remaining safe, using materials efficiently and relying only on the contractors for guidance as the teams worked. Industry professionals judged, scoring the teams on technical, completeness and safety categories.
- Daniel Green, City of North Charleston Inspections
- Craig Johnson, AFG Group
- Chandra Jones, Robins & Morton
- Joe Juan, Town of Mount Pleasant Inspections
- LTC Palazzini, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- Tracey Scoville, Orangeburg County Schools
- Paul Stubblefield, City of North Charleston Inspections
- Bobby Teachey, Brownstone Construction Group
- Steven Watterson, Education Associate, S.C. Office of Career and Technology Education
Towards the end of the competition, something magical happened.
These participants weren’t just becoming friends and true team players, they were excited and proud of the work they had done and were making strong relationships with the contractors and subcontractors that were mentoring them along the way.
As young adults in their late teens and early twenties, it’s sometimes hard to see where life may take them. The experiences and the visibility that these participants were given through the Build A Shed competition helped almost the entire Eckerd Connects team earn full-time jobs with one of the contractors or roofers on site that day.
Yes, I have goosebumps…and a goofy smile on my face.
These students also gained an OSHA 10 certification which teaches recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of safety and health hazards in the workplace.
Once the airhorn sounded and the competition ended, everyone gathered at the pavilion for the awards ceremony. All the teams did a tremendous job working together to build their sheds, but after the judging was finished, four awards were given: first, second and third place, along with an Excellence in Safety award.
First Place – Eckerd Connects
Second Place – R.B. Stall High School
Third Place – Wando High School
Excellence in Safety Winner – Berkeley High School
Thank you to all who purchased and bid on the seven sheds. All of the proceeds from the auction will be used to support future Talent initiatives similar to this. Like my mom always says – the proof is in the pudding – if experiences like this one are helping give visibility to careers that need skilled talent, why not find more ways to fill the talent gap?
Our Talent team continuously strives to identify the talent gaps in our region and educate students and career-ready youth about the job openings and careers that are available to them. Interested in learning more about our talent work? Visit https://www.charlestonchamber.org/career/talent-advancement/