Educating young students on career opportunities in construction has been a priority for our member, Cullum Mechanical Construction. Cullum is a career academy partner, which is a group facilitated by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. This group links participating businesses with local schools to educate young people about the many career paths available to them in Charleston.
Recently, Cullum visited Cane Bay Middle School for a Lunch and Learn where Mendi Arnold, Corporate Communication’s Director of Cullum Mechanical Construction, spoke to the kids about opportunities in the trades and what the paths to such jobs look like and how much they could earn. “I also talked about the satisfaction you get when you can actually see the fruits of your efforts. I let them cut PVC, fit together duct, and taught them about PPE and how to properly use it. We did a fun relay “race” to see who could get the PPE on correctly the quickest,” said Arnold.
“The students were so inquisitive. They told me all about the different jobs their parents had and dreams they had for their future. The students had a lot of questions about what I do and what buildings Cullum have built and worked on. They loved the PPE relay! One girl hugged me before I left while one of the boys asked me 4 times if I would come back, their excitement was so evident,” said Arnold.
Cullum enjoys actively participating in Lunch and Learns and similar events to keep the youth engaged and motivated to learn about the trades industry. In November, Mendi Arnold took one of Cullum’s youth HVAC apprentices, Nolan Nickels, to West Ashley High School for an industry professional panel discussion and days later, Cullum hosted 10 students from Baptist Hill High School for a job shadow where the students were rotated through project management. Several employees participated in this event. “In December, Superintendent, Brian Longwell II, Jose Monteiro, a Journeyman Plumber and I went to a Build-A-Shed coaching session. This is a program that allows youth to compete in a competition where they actually build a shed. The team Cullum coached has won 1st place two years running and are preparing for a third victory. We will meet with our team monthly until the competition date in March,” said Arnold.
Other events Cullum has participated in were a visit to SC Works facility, where the team provided a hands-on experience for “youth with barriers” that included letting them try their hands at setting duct taps and sweating copper. In January, Cullum visited Wando High School to speak to two classes about apprenticeship opportunities. “Cullum has an upcoming event next week, where I will take a plumbing apprentice, Davis Bryant, to RB Stall High School for their annual career symposium to talk about careers in construction,” said Arnold. Thank you, Cullum Mechanical Construction, for taking the time to educate young people about the career paths available within the trades!
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