BATON ROUGE – The Pelican Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. today announced that 174 students will graduate from its Baton Rouge Training Center this Thursday after completing craft training courses in electrical (18 graduates), heavy equipment (11), millwright (11), mobile crane (19), instrumentation (16), pipefitting (7), project supervision (19), site safety (12) and welding (68). An impressive six welders will graduate having completed two levels of welding credentials within one semester. In total, 181 graduating credentials will be presented at the Spring 2019 graduation ceremony.
“These credentials do not appear out of thin air, but result from countless hours of grit, dedication, focus and sacrifice,” said David Helveston, President and CEO of the Pelican Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors. “I am honored these graduates chose ABC Pelican to be part of their story and career pathway, and I congratulate each individual on the skills they have cultivated with us. Whether these craft professionals utilize these skills on a job site, in a shop or to teach future craft workers, they are building our community stronger, brighter and better.”
One graduate who is building our community stronger is Dameon Jackson, an agriscience and carpentry teacher at Northeast High School in Pride, LA. Jackson, 43, has completed four levels of electrical course work with ABC Pelican over the past two years, while teaching ninth through twelfth grade students. Jackson believes the best teachers are lifelong students, and he hopes to teach his students electrical courses in the near future.
“The earlier you can start your career, the better you will be,” is a piece of wisdom that Jackson, a Greensburg native and father of three, continuously shares with his students. “Why wait until your 30s when you can start thinking about a career in high school?”
In his 16 years of teaching, Jackson has learned that “everyone comes from different backgrounds, and these kids are dealing with real challenges at home.” Reflecting on his education through ABC, Jackson found that “the instructors shared many personal stories, with regards to family and home life, as well as their careers in construction.” Since his time with ABC Pelican, Jackson strives daily to be more open with his students and share more of his personal stories.
“The ABC Pelican instructors are patient and understanding towards their students. They treated us all equally, and that set a strong example for me,” Jackson said. “The instructors also offered a plethora of knowledge, and the program’s environment was always welcoming and safe.”
Tim Gros will also be graduating on Thursday with both electrical and instrumentation credentials. The Springfield native and new dad worked four, 16-hour days each week for the past two years to complete his education. “Like anything, what you get out of something is what you put in to it. Work hard at this program and it will pay off.”
Juggling night classes, a full-time job and a family was a challenge, he said, “but for a moment.” Gros, an ISC Constructors employee, made a conscious decision over the past four semesters to daily focus on the positive because this training will help him take that next step in his career.
“There were moments when I thought about giving up with a demanding job and intense craft training, but I didn’t,” Gros said. “Work hard and finish strong.”
Gros, 35, chose ABC Pelican’s craft training program to “fill in the gaps” and to deepen his understanding of the trades. “The education through ABC Pelican furthered my knowledge and strengthened my skill set,” he said. “The programs shaped my future by teaching me the fundamentals of my trade.”
This Spring, Gros represented ABC Pelican in instrumentation at the National Craft Championships in California. Gros said he was thankful for the opportunity because “it gave me a confidence that I can take with me throughout my career.”
What: ABC Pelican Baton Rouge Training Center Spring Semester 2019 Graduation Ceremony
Who: Craft professionals who have completed course work for their respective craft this past spring. Business and construction industry leaders will also be in attendance, including guest speaker Eddie Rispone, former ABC Pelican and ABC National Chair, and gubernatorial candidate.
When: Thursday, June 20, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: L’Auberge Baton Rouge (777 L’Auberge Ave., Baton Rouge, LA 70820)
*Media registration: Contact Erika Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 225-448-3348*
The Pelican Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. (ABC) was incorporated in 1980 and covers 52 parishes in Louisiana. It is a diverse, non-profit, trade association of contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry professionals who have joined together to advance the construction industry by promoting and protecting the Merit Shop Philosophy and the principles of the free enterprise system.
Pelican Chapter, ABC is a non-profit organization based in Baton Rouge, LA. For information on Pelican Chapter communications and media contact Erika Walter, 225-448-3348.