CEFGA has honored 110 construction and metals teachers throughout Georgia with Construction Workforce Impact Awards. Delivered in partnership with the Georgia Department of Education, the new Impact Awards program is designed to ensure that all students have an equal opportunity to thrive in construction education and careers. The program honors the front-line contributions of teachers who are instrumental in preparing students for careers in the skilled trades.
CEFGA staff recently made surprise visits to five of the top-15 award winners, presenting each with a check for their work in prioritizing and implementing workforce best-practices. Award winners were ranked with a quantitative score based on metrics in four key areas: Industry Certification of their Program, Industry Credentialing, Industry Exposure, and Industry Career Path Placements including Work-Based Learning and part-time employment in the construction industry.
Charles Kachmar of Lawrenceville’s Maxwell High School received the top prize of $10,000. Kachmar – along with Jake Slusher of Madison County High (5th place), Patrick Mahaffey of Berkmar High (6th), Ben Lowe of Jackson High (7th) and Jim Steel of Harris County High (13th) – will be the subject of an upcoming video presentation discussing their programs and best practices.
“Scott [Shelar, CEFGA Executive Director] showed up with a big check!” exclaimed Slusher. “I couldn’t believe it! I appreciate it so much, and it definitely makes our summer more enjoyable.”
“I received the CEFGA check – wow!” added Lee County High’s John Wanner, whose program was ranked second among the 100 participating programs. “First time ever rewarded for all the work. Thank you!”
The Impact Award is part of CEFGA’s new “Introducing the Next Generation to the Skilled Trades” initiative supported by The Marcus Foundation, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and The Home Depot Foundation. It is designed to recognize and reward key workforce best-practices in vital skilled trade CTAE programs by:
- Ensuring alignment of instruction with industry needs, mobilization and engagement of industry partners;
- Delivering industry-recognized credentials to students;
- Assisting students in taking the next step directly to employment or advanced training programs after high school.
Notable metrics achieved with the support and collaboration of construction programs across the state are:
- 42 construction programs in Georgia are currently certified, with 15 more in-progress to obtain industry certification;
- 3,795 verified industry credentials have been earned by students;
- 12,436 student exposures to the skilled trades have been recorded;
- 578 students have been verified as interested in pursuing a construction career path.
Following are the top 25 award winners and the counties in which they teach.
- Charles Kachmar, Gwinnett
- John Wanner, Lee
- Brent Branning, Cobb
- Luke Fletcher, Houston
- Jake Slusher, Madison
- Patrick Mahaffey, Gwinnett
- Ben Lowe, Butts
- Christopher McGrotha, Muscogee
- Brandon Miller, Hall
- Jeff Johnson, Laurens
- Josh Hall, Bulloch
- Jeff Bearinger, Lumpkin
- Jim Steel, Harris
- Dale Hales, Fulton
- Carlos Jones, Jr., Camden
- Mark Adams, White
- Nick Dipaolo, Jones
- Robert McCullough, Columbiua
- Travis Barrett, Thomas
- Rodney Presley, Hall
- John McFarland, Colquitt,
- Wade Owens, Murray
- Jeff Holland, Glynn
- Walter Preston, Spalding
- Dennis Wilson, Gilmer