Bearing Fruit: Students of Construction Academy Bring Skills to AGC Firms

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Dale Aamot drilling anchor holes for temporary impact attenuators along SR 20.

Students from the Whatcom County Construction Academy which opened its doors last September are now working for AGC member firms. AGC Works checks in on two of those students Dale Aamot and Jarred Smith.

Dale Aamot is currently working as a laborer for IMCO General Construction Inc. Specifically Dale is on IMCOs SR 20 Fredonia to I-5 Widening Project.

Dale has been working with our storm drain watermain sanitary sewer and erosion control crews said CJ Handforth of IMCO. He is a hard worker with a great attitude and we are real pleased with his progress. Within the next month or so Dale will be enrolling in the CITC operator apprenticeship program. We are excited to have him start in the apprenticeship program and are even more grateful to have him on our team.

Meanwhile Jarred Smith has been working at Andgar Corporation working as an apprentice plumber. Jarred started with us in June and he has shown a solid work ethic said Vicki Pine Human Resources Manager for Andgar. Weve received great feedback on him from the field. Jarred plans to attend Whatcom Community College in the Fall.

Pine noted that Jarred as all Academy students do got his initial safety training and orientation at the Academy. Normally a high school graduate is clueless about these issues and you have to start them from scratch. But Academy students have already taken a huge step forward she said.

The Academy is filling the need created by the skilled workforce shortage Pine added. Even though the shortage may not be as acute now as it has been in recent years we must still invest in future construction workers and show young people that there are so many avenues to make a career out of construction.

The Academy exposes students to the many options they have in the construction industry. Students complete the program and move on to the next phase of their education. Several AGC member firms worked with the school district and other partners to make the Academy a reality. Participating AGC firms in addition to IMCO and Andgar include Dawson Construction Inc. Wilder Construction Diamond B Constructors Tiger Construction LTD Matia Contractors Inc. BP Cherry Point Refinery Whatcom Construction Inc. and Haskell Corporation.