North Tech staff and students hosted their First Annual Contractor Appreciation Day on Saturday, May 13th at North Tech High School. The event gave students and their families the opportunity to express their sincere gratitude to Clayco and its many subcontractor partners for their commitment to the Construction Career Development Initiative (CCDI).
CCDI is a Clayco collaborative that works to expose minority and disadvantaged students to the many career opportunities in construction. Partners want to create multiple talent pipelines for students in construction trades or professional construction-related college degrees. The program’s mission is to “….partner with the communities in which we operate, and we’re in it for the long haul, giving time, energy, and resources to the projects and charities that can help build these communities.”
Clayco’s partnership with North Tech began three years ago as the CCDI was forming. The program works with students in North Tech’s Construction Trades, Carpentry, Electrical Trades, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning, and Welding majors. Students are selected by their instructors to participate in the program based on their performance, grades, discipline and attendance and students must maintain these high standards to remain enrolled in CCDI. As the initiative strives to build bridges from school to work, it incorporates the same measures that are used to evaluate job performance.
CCDI students are mentored by Clayco human resource professionals, perform mock interviews, tour multiple job sites, and participate in a job fair at Clayco’s St. Louis offices in late spring. During the fair, students are able to select 3 to 4 contractors with whom they would like to interview. To date, 32 North Tech students have received offers of employment from Clayco and their partners. CCDI has also established a summer intern program for juniors this year in which 9 students have gained employment with suppliers and subcontractors. These jobs will earn the students between $10 and $12 an hour while exposing them to potential career pathways and giving them an opportunity to network with future colleagues.
Saturday’s event brought together several key members of the CCDI team, including Clayco Executive Vice President, Tom Sieckhaus. The day included a catered luncheon served by North Tech culinary students, speeches from Special School District superintendent Don Bohannon and North Tech’s CCDI coordinator, Pat Hanneken. Students presented their CCDI sponsors with certificates of appreciation and shared their stories about how the initiative has shaped their high school experience at Tech.
North and South Tech High Schools are very fortunate to be able to offer their students opportunities like those included in CCDI. As the demand for skilled trade workers in advanced manufacturing and construction continues to rise, we are proud to have regional companies like Clayco look to our schools to help them foster engaged, prepared, and highly trained future employees among our students. Photos from the event can be seen here (gallery link).
To learn more about the CCDI program, please visit www.ccdi.org.