Skilling students for construction industry An ambitious programme trains high school students in various professions, trade related to the construction sector which is a win-win situation for job seekers and stakeholders.

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Just as schools are in full swing for 2018-19, so is Roswell Rotary in helping those schools.

Roswell Rotary (Georgia, US – D 6900) believes that its members are invaluable in contributing to programmes that benefit the area school children and community.

In addition to projects such as collecting school supplies headed by member June Brown each year, or Roswell Rotarian Becky Nelson leading district Rotarians as they serve with Interact clubs, or Stand Up for Kids led by member Robert Fezza where Rotarians mentor homeless high schoolers who need support and motivation to stay in school and graduate, Roswell Rotary is supporting the construction programmes in local schools.

This year, a $10,000 grant was awarded to Roswell High School (RHS) by Roswell Rotary and North Fulton Rotary as district grant project for use in the Career and Technical Education Programme at RHS.

In late September, various tools such as circular saws, drill bits, orbital sanders, reciprocating saws, anvils, trowels, routers, and battery chargers were among the much needed equipment for the RHS construction programme.

Roswell Rotary President and chair of the Construction Advisory Board since its inception, Becky Stone believes “it is vital for our students to know that there are lots of options after high school and our construction industry professionals need a pipeline of trained students coming out of high school. The RHS Construction programme is a win-win for students and industry in Roswell.”

The Construction Programme in RHS began in 2013. At present, about 80 students take classes in four areas: carpentry, electrical, masonry and plumbing.

The RHS cluster is being used as a model for the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia’s (CEFGA) K12 Pipeline initiative.

Roswell Rotarian Zach Fields, CEFGA Vice President – K12 Pipeline, saw the opportunity to get students excited about a future in construction at an early age while he was teaching construction at Roswell High School – a programme he lobbied the school for and offered to teach.

According to Fields, “Skilled Trade or ‘Craft Professional’ programmes such as the RHS Construction programme offer our young people a direct pathway to a rewarding career in the booming construction industry which is leading all other sectors in Georgia with a growth rate of 10 per cent.”

“With low barriers to entry and tremendous upward economic mobility, a career in construction is a great option for students to consider. When we take into account the increased demand for skilled trade talent, the shortage of available workers, and an aging workforce, we have the perfect storm of unprecedented opportunity for our youth.”

The Roswell programme is unique in several ways.

It has tremendous community support through the Roswell Rotary Club.

In addition to the new equipment grant, a $5,000 grant is provided each year and their members volunteer in the schools.

The programme has industry support through advisory board members who support it by donating money, time and material.

And it encompasses the entire cluster of schools that feed RHS.

This programme has reached down to middle schools now offering construction as a connections class and elementary schools with a construction club that meet after school one day a week.

Roswell Rotary also supports the Toolbox programme in Roswell elementary schools.

Toolbox delivers age appropriate construction technology learning programmes in Georgia’s elementary schools, called the Young Apprentice (YA) program.

Currently Toolbox is in six elementary schools.

Source: patch.com

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