A rainy afternoon at Jimmy John’s Field did not stop the staff from celebrating the largest graduating class in the school’s 36-year history.
On May 15, 79 students (52 electrical and 27 carpentry) walked across the stage to receive their diploma in the skilled trades.
In an address to the graduates and their families, the SEMCA board chair Tad Martin, owner and operator of TMX Contracting, spoke about the daily conveniences most people take for granted like running water, heat, and electricity to run their home. That is, until they stop working and a call is swiftly made to a contractor.
“When those tragedies of human experience like being unprepared to wake up shivering and make contact with the cold floor take place, who do you call? You call men and women of the trades,” Martin stated. “Men and women like those sitting here on the field and in the stands. Who are trained through head-knowledge and hands-on experience; ready to come to the rescue.”
Martin continued his address saying the work these “unsung heroes” chose to perform is supremely honorable and a necessary skill that so many come to rely on. He explained that the wires, pipes, ducts, and vents make-up the arteries in today’s modern homes and businesses, and those sitting on the field are now the magicians of those systems.
“You craft the homes of today. Your intellect fuses these systems together into the correct path for an efficient build,” Martin said. “Society depends on you daily—more than it does politicians, influencers, social media gurus, or assorted paper pushers. You will enjoy the satisfaction of finishing your work, stepping back, and saying ‘I built that. I got that working. The people in that building would be lost without me.’ So now it’s time to go out and prove that right.”
SEMCA director of education Marissa Downs deemed the night a special celebration of success filled with determination, perseverance, and grit. She commended the graduates for overcoming school, work, family, and life, and for overcoming obstacles to get to graduation day.
The SEMCA class of 2022 now join their peers as craft professionals ready to continue building America. Enrollment is now open for the fall semester at the Southeast Michigan Construction Academy. All ABC members get a discount on tuition. Start building up your workforce today to increase employee satisfaction and retention.