Over 100 students enter the workforce as skilled professionals
“Today is a day of celebration and accomplishment. As we gather here to recognize the incredible achievements of each and every one of you. It’s an honor to stand here before you as we mark this significant milestone. The completion of your trade school education, and today we applaud your dedication, your hard work and your perseverance,” said SEMCA chair, Tad Martin in his commencement address to the graduates.
On May 21, 107 students (69 electrical, 19 carpentry, 16 welding and three heavy construction) walked across the stage at Jimmy John’s field to receive their certificate of completion and enter the workforce as skilled trades professionals.
Martin, owner of TMX Contracting, continued his address noting that the students sitting on the field, ready for their diplomas, spent hours perfecting their craft and leave SEMCA with the power to make a significant impact in their respective industries.
SEMCA graduate Brian Bielski reflected on his four-year electrical apprenticeship, noting the challenges he had to overcome. Bielski said there was a lot more to becoming an electrician than he thought, but his grit and passion carried him through his training, and he can’t wait to get his certificate.
“In this program I’ve accomplished and learned so much from my instructors—I’m ready to take this knowledge and become a journeyman electrician,” Bielski said. “After four years of hard work, I can finally give back to my community by helping maintain and grow the infrastructure.”
This year’s graduation ceremony gave everyone 108 reasons to celebrate. One for each graduate and one for a family who turned tragedy into a legacy that will be passed on.
Back in the fall of 2019 an eager RJ Rink enrolled in the electrical apprenticeship at SEMCA and within a month, he had a job working under a master electrician. Unfortunately, RJ passed unexpectedly two months into his first semester at SEMCA. RJ’s uncle, Eric, decided they would use RJ’s unused tuition and turn it into a scholarship to help other SEMCA students fulfill their dream. The scholarship was called The Promise Scholarship in Memory of RJ Rink. Since then, Eric and Amy Davidson, and the Rink family have given out $68,000 in scholarships that have helped 57 SEMCA students.
This year would have been the year RJ graduated, and to honor the impact his family has made, they were presented with RJ’s honorary certificate of completion.
The SEMCA class of 2023 now joins their peers as craft professionals ready to continue building America. Congratulations to all!
Fall 2023 Application Open
The Southeast Michigan Construction Academy application is open for the fall 2023 semester. The school is providing training in electrical, carpentry, welding and heavy construction.
Formal training programs are a great way to upskill your workforce—what’s better, all of SEMCA’s classes are at night, so you don’t lose workers during business hours. ABC members receive a discount on tuition and a 15% discount on tuition for seven or more employees enrolled.
Additionally, ABC members looking to hire apprentices are encouraged to reach out to Kaylee (firstname.lastname@example.org), SEMCA’s education services coordinator to get on the jobs list. This list is a compilation of SEMCA students’ resumes from all trades seeking employment. It is emailed out twice a month to employers in an effort to fill the jobs available in the construction industry.
Program information, training dates and curriculum can be found on semcaschool.org. The application for the fall semester will close on August 18.