LeCroy graduates first summer construction class

Published 2:52 pm Friday, July 14, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The LeCroy Career Technical Center wrapped up its first year of its summer construction program with a final hiring event on July 13. The students who participated in the program had a chance to interview with some of the employers they met throughout the six-week program with a chance to be hired by them.

The companies came in and spoke with the students during the program about what they expect from their employees and go over hands on things that students may encounter on the job.

“Several of the students were a part of our construction program during their senior year as well,” Wendy Fortner, a career coach at LeCroy, said.

The students were paid each day they attended the event through a $100,000 donation made to the program by Mark McKinnon and McKinnon Automotive.

“We really enjoy getting involved in the education system, and anything we can do to contribute, the better,” McKinnon said.

McKinnon told the Chilton County Schools Board of Education that he wanted to pledge $100,000 in scholarship money towards the students who will have to go off to some type of training before being hired after high school, such as lineman school.

It took a bit for McKinnon and the board to work out the details, and he was told it would have to wait until next year. However, the board let McKinnon know he could contribute this year because the program was paying the students wages. McKinnon jumped at the opportunity to donate $100,000 to their wages on top of the $100,000 for scholarships for the program.

“It contributes to the community because we have a need for our workforce,” McKinnon said. “I think there are many students that are not aware of the incredible job opportunities that are available straight out of high school. Well paying positions where in a few years they can make six figures. Plus, we need them. That is why I wanted to get involved.”

Some students were hired by companies who came in to speak during the program, but the remaining students got a chance to be hired on July 13 as they had multiple interviews with companies in attendance such as Tim Kohlenberg with Tractor and Equipment Co., Paul Caton and Paul Fields with Dunn Construction, Tonya and Larry Easterling with E&E Acoustical Drywall Inc. and Hannah Sharp and Michael Ortigoza with Brasfield & Gorrie. Other companies who contributed instructors throughout the program were Doster Construction, McKinnon Automotive and TEC. Chilton Contractors and Rives Construction hosted field trips during the program.

LeCroy Career Technical Center director Dr. Shannon Walker, city of Clanton Chief of Staff Bob Woods, Clanton City Council member Billy Singleton, Chilton County Schools superintendent Corey Clements, Clanton Mayor Jeff Mims and Chilton County Commissioner Allen Williams were all in attendance at the event on July 13.