The Kingsboro Lumber Co. and the HFM Career and Technical Center have formed a new partnership inviting building material manufacturers and wholesalers to share their insights into the construction industry directly with students.
Recently, HFM Construction Technology Instructor Steve Derwin approached Donald Wicksell, the president and CEO of Kingsboro Lumber in Gloversville, for help arranging visits by industry professionals to the Career & Technical Center. The first of what will be a series of visits occurred Wednesday, Feb. 12 when Scott Dewsbury, the local territory sales manager for Reeb Millwork – the largest distributor of doors on the east coast – spoke with the Construction students about his career, the millwork industry, door material and construction, and more.
Derwin, Dewsbury and Wicksell also spoke with the students about the critical role suppliers play for construction contractors and the careers available in the field.
“The whole country needs people to supply building materials. It’s really a great opportunity for a career,” Dewsbury said, noting that many in the supply industry are now nearing retirement and job seekers with construction experience, such as CTE students, would have a leg up when entering the field.
Reeb Millwork is a family-owned company with five millwork facilities that work with manufacturers to assemble and ship pre-hung exterior and interior doors. Their smallest facility, which is in Syracuse, ships approximately 1,400 doors a day.
Dewsbury explained the wide variety of professionals needed by companies such as Reeb including people who work in quoting and estimating, shipping and receiving, logistics, warehousing and sales. The company also requires field technicians for after-sale service.
“There is a dire need for door and window installers,” Dewsbury said, explaining the technical expertise needed to properly install modern doors and tighten the building envelope.
The HFM Construction program will continue to work with Kingsboro Lumber and bring in more material representatives to speak to students. Future topics planned include windows and insulation.
“Partnerships with local businesses and professionals have always been an important part of Career and Technical Education, and we thank Kingsboro Lumber for helping to expand these relationships,” HFM Career and Technical Center Director Jay A. DeTraglia said.
During his visit, Dewsbury’s final advice for students entering the workforce was to look beyond just getting a job and to focus on long-term career goals.
Open to local high school juniors and seniors, Construction Technology is a two-year program that stresses career preparation in the building trades.
Through building projects on the HFM campus, students are exposed to a variety of construction trades including residential construction, blueprint reading and estimating, building materials and tools, surveying, foundations, floor wall and roof systems, insulation, window and door installation, home electrical wiring, and energy use analysis. Particular attention is paid to modern framing techniques and green building strategies.