April 4, 2016

On Thursday, March 17, nine students from Statesboro High School went to the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta to showcase their skills and compete against the best in the state at the SkillsUSA State Leadership and Skills Conference.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. The organization holds a three day expo each year where over 1000 students compete in 90+ events with career and technical application.

Each student faces off against as many as 16-20 of the best in the state of Georgia. For most every event, students are scored on professionalism and safety along with other parameters surrounding their event.

Each student spent countless hours after school working on bettering their skills, getting ready to put themselves in the eye of the public, and compete against the best. At the awards banquet on Saturday, only the top three places are announced. Bryce Findley, sponsored by The Sack Company, placed 2nd in the Industrial Motor Controls division.

Students learning a trade early is why SkillsUSA and construction programs such as the one at Statesboro High School are so important. The program at SHS is one of very few of its kind left in Georgia. Far too often shop programs, industrial arts, woodworking, and similar programs are being cut from high school curriculum.

It is no secret that the construction industry as a whole is facing a massive labor shortage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth in jobs for HVAC technicians through 2024 will be 14 percent, much faster than average job growth nationally. The 2014 median pay for those workers was $21.46 per hour, or $44,630 a year, the bureau reports. For plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters, expected job growth until 2024 is 12 percent —faster than average. The 2014 median pay for those jobs was $24.36 an hour, or $50,660 a year. Electricians show the highest amount of growth: 14 percent expected job growth with a $51,110 2014 median annual salary.

The Sack Company is doing several things to keep up with the high demands of the construction industry, and the first one is to support local construction education programs. In house, the company runs a registered apprenticeship program through the state for electrical, plumbing, and HVAC trades. The programs involve working full-time while also completing online courses and attending in-house training sessions. This allows the apprentice to make money while completing their education.

In business since 1945, Sack’s corporate office is in Statesboro, Georgia, with two other locations in Savannah and Dublin, Georgia. Sack is one of the largest commercial and industrial contractors for mechanical, electrical and plumbing operations in the southeast. Additional services provided by the company includes an industrial division that specializes in millwright and rigging services, piping and equipment relocations, and a maintenance division that works with small businesses, commercial, institutional and industrial clients providing HVAC service, maintenance, installations and repair.



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