SIDNEY — Students in Sidney High School’s Workforce Academy classroom recently watched the construction of a warehouse without leaving their classroom.
Ferguson Construction Company, which is a member of the Workforce Partnership of Shelby County, worked collaborated with NKTelco Inc., New Bremen, to bring the live construction to the classroom on Aug. 25.
The NKTelco team filmed Ferguson crews as they worked on constructing a 480,000-square-foot warehouse outside of Sidney. Students watched as the crews poured and finished concrete, set steel bar joists, welded, hung sheet metal siding and installed roofing. In addition to the opportunity to see the live action of cranes, lifts, concrete trucks, concrete finishers and multiple power tools, the students were also able to witness the teamwork and safety standards that it takes to build such a large facility.
Ferguson Construction Company Vice President Doug Fortkamp explained to the students through the camera and voice overs what construction jobs were taking place at that very moment. He introduced some of the employees, their title and duties and what it took for them to get to where they are today.
Back in the classroom, Ferguson Construction Company President Mick Given, Quality Control Manager Dave Shonk, and the Workforce Academy teacher Sharon Maurice were on hand to describe to the students what they were watching, discuss what it takes to be employable, the employment and educational routes available to them during and after high school and to answer any questions.
All in all, the first ever live feed into the Workforce Academy classroom was a success, said those involved. The students were excited and attentive and after watching the live construction footage numerous students showed genuine interest in the construction industry.
The mission of the Workforce Partnership of Shelby County is to prepare our future workforce to respond to the skills needed by the businesses and industries in the surrounding areas. The area schools and businesses work together to build workforce training and skills development programs that will prepare students for, and connect them to, current and future local jobs. This is done through a class offered at area schools called “Workforce Academy.”