Thomas Hole and Jared Lattimer are taking advantage of Ohio Hi-Point Career Center’s School-To-Work program, an opportunity for Ohio Hi-Point students to work part of the school day in their career field while earning a paycheck.
Hole (Bellefontaine High School) and Lattimer (Indian Lake High School), both senior Structural Construction students, are two of the nearly 20 School-To-Work students this year.
There are four levels of participation available to students interested in School-To-Work: Internship/Apprenticeship, Advanced Job Placement, Early Placement and Job Shadowing/Mentoring. Each level has varying eligibility requirements.
Hole and Lattimer were approved for the Apprentice/Internship program, the top School-To-Work level, with a 2.5 GPA and at least 95 percent attendance. They also submitted an application and went through an interview process before gaining employment with Prime Construction in Huntsville.
The students will put in about 750 hours with Prime Construction working at Longview Cove near Indian Lake over the course of the school year.
On the job site, the pair report to site foreman Shawn Martin, who assigns responsibilities to them. Job responsibilities include framing, drywalling, painting, pouring concrete, putting in cabinets and doors as well as cleaning the house each week for open houses to provide a great first impression to those walking through the house.
“The expectations are high out on the job site,” said Lattimer. “It’s fast-paced and you can’t mess up out here. You really need to know what you’re doing. Mr. Marstellar (Ohio Hi-Point’s Structural Construction instructor) always says in addition to knowing the trade you need to be a good problem-solver to excel in the industry.”
Martin agreed, saying, “Each task they complete reflects on the quality of work they were taught and what we expect in the industry. The School-To-Work program is a great opportunity for them to sharpen the skills they’ve learned at the career center.”
The School-To-Work program not only gives students a first-hand look at a career, but also opens the door to job opportunities and networking resources.
“Working with the guys that have years of experience is extremely rewarding,” said Hole. “it gives both of us a new outlook on the industry. When you think that a house will probably be the most expensive thing you own, I want to have the knowledge to make smart decisions and know what to look for in a home.”
The house Hole and Lattimer are working on is the first of many construction projects. Once complete, the Prime Construction crew will move to a new lot to begin building another residential home.
Ross Duff, manger at Duff Quarry, works closely with the Ohio Hi-Point Structural Construction program and says the opportunities in construction- both residential and commercial- are booming. “We need skilled workers right here in Logan County. This is an excellent career choice and an excellent opportunity for students completing the construction program at Ohio Hi-Point to earn a great living.”
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 6.4 million people are working residential and commercial construction as of August 2015, an increase of 3.6 percent from 2014. In the Columbus area, construction has seen a six percent increase.
Martin added, “The School-To-Work program is so valuable to both parties- students and businesses- because the students are investing the time into a career and company that they may want to pursue, and the businesses are able to use their skills and talents.”
Hole and Lattimer feel fortunate to work with Prime Construction. Both agree they can appreciate the industry and the work they do because, “we see guys like Shawn and Randy working with such precision to make everything perfect and it really motivates us to work harder.”
After graduation, Hole plans to attend Rhodes State College for concrete technology while Lattimer is looking forward to earning his electrician journeyman license and then hopes to pursue the plumbing journeyman license.
Any business that is interested in being a partner for the School-To-Work program is encouraged to email Bob Newland, School-To-Work coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about the career programs at Ohio Hi-Point, as well as the opportunities that extend past the career center, including School-To-Work, can be found at ohiohipoint.com.
Submitted by the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center.