Fabricating and installing a light fixture
Gaining experience on a $200 million construction site
Understanding the various roles and professions involved in a single construction project
Regional electrical contractor, CarolinaPower, together with Brasfield & Gorrie, one of the largest privately held construction firms in the nation, co-host and sponsor a day-long construction experience to show students the dynamism of the industry and the opportunities that await them—including those for young women.
In the morning, students fabricate lighting fixtures in CarolinaPower’s warehouse, then head to a Brasfield & Gorrie jobsite in the afternoon—one of the largest construction sites ever in the City of Greenville, a $200 million dollar multi-use campus where people will live, work, and play.
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works to challenge misperceptions about the trades and help close the skills gap, sponsors the experience.
“Putting on a hard hat and getting hands dirty is the best way to dive in and see if construction is a fit for you,” says Mary Sullivan, President of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. “It’s a great career option that shouldn’t be overlooked.”
On the Jobsite
At the downtown jobsite, students install parking garage lighting fixtures manufactured by experience sponsor, Hubbell Lighting. As one of the largest lighting fixture manufacturers in North America, Hubbell Lighting features a suite of brands that provide a full range of indoor and outdoor lighting products serving the commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential markets. “As an electronics manufacturer we believe in encouraging and inspiring the next generation of engineers and trade professionals,” said Michael McCullough, director of public relations at Hubbell Lighting. “That’s why we jumped at the chance to partner with BFE on this initiative.”
An Industry Rallies Around BFE Students
On-site support and student-mentoring is also provided by sponsors Eldeco, electrical contractors; Waldrop Mechanical Services; and O’Neal, Inc., Engineering and Construction. These companies, together with CarolinaPower and Brasfield & Gorrie, are members of sponsoring organization, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC Carolinas Chapter), an association dedicated to workforce development in the construction industry.
Supplies and tools are provided by Southwire, and experience learning materials are donated by Holder Electric Supply, and Shealy Electrical, a division of Border States. Loaned materials are offered by Carson’s Nut & Bolt, and US Tool, Inc.
CarolinaPower Vice President and General Manager, Chris Moore, said, “Students who would have never considered a career in construction have sought enrollment in our apprenticeship program. We are successfully changing the future of the construction industry by sharing our passion for the craft, and this is just the beginning.”
Reactions to the Experience
Both students and instructors alike were impacted by the experience—students excited to expand their perception of the construction industry and the careers available in the field, and instructors to see the enthusiasm and engagement of members of the next generation of the trade!
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Greenville, SC, 29602