In a year that has brought so much bad news, it’s great to shine a light on something positive. In October, Miller Electric welcomed two new employees through the Hardhat in Hand program started by Turner Construction Company in Omaha.
This is the second year that the Hardhat in Hand program has been offered, and the second time Miller Electric has participated in it.
“We’re happy to participate in the Hardhat in Hand program because we know the trades are in constant need of new, qualified, energetic workers,” says Miller Electric Safety Director Scott Love. “This program provides young people an alternative to the traditional post-secondary education model and this year, Miller Electric was fortunate to add two program participants to our crew.”
Two Program Graduates Join the Miller Electric Crew
New crew members, Gustavo Carmona and Paul Shelton graduated the eight-week program on November 6, 2020. During the program, participants receive:
- 11 college credit hours in basic construction education
- Certifications including CPR/First Aid, OSHA-10, Bring Your A Game and Building Life
- Hourly wage during class hours
- On-the-job training match with an employer
Sara Hansen, Workforce Development Manager for Turner Construction, says Turner has always identified the need for new talent in the in construction industry.
“This program creates a holistic approach and brings together education, community organizations and trade partners to offer the best possible opportunity for success.”
Ensuring Lack of Basic Necessities Don’t Stop Workers from Succeeding
One of the aspects that makes the program both unique and successful is the ability, through collaboration, to provide equal opportunity to young people interested in pursuing a career in the trades industry.
“We begin with four weeks of education in a classroom setting,” says Hansen. “During that time, issues and situations that might normally prevent an otherwise qualified, capable and diligent person from gaining employment, arise and are resolved.”
“Items that some of the people in our program need are things most people consider basic necessities,” says Hansen. “We discovered during class that one woman didn’t have a car. That makes working in the construction industry extremely difficult. A community partner provided Uber gift cards to ensure she would have access to transportation while completing her on the job training. Removing simple barriers to success such as that, we are able to help qualified people succeed in an equitable manner that increases diversity and inclusion in the construction industry.”
Once out of the classroom and into on the job training, program participants are paired up with mentors who expose them to many facets of work in the industry. New Miller Electric worker Paul Shelton says every day on the job provides a new learning opportunity.
“I’m not just pushing a broom,” Shelton says. “Each week they are deliberately teaching me something new and I really enjoy it.”
Hansen says stories like Shelton’s are part of why she loves getting to help people not just find a great job, but find their future career.
For more information about the Hardhat in Hand program, or to discuss future participation in it, email Hardhatinhand@tcco.com.