Contractors in the Classroom Profile: D.R. Reynolds Company of Star, NC
Long-time CAGC member, D.R. Reynolds Company, Inc., is dedicated to promoting construction career awareness to local high school students and helping solve the labor shortage crisis! Goosie Kennedy, Project Manager at D.R. Reynolds and recent addition to the growing team of Build Your Career Ambassadors, recently participated in the BYC “Contractors in the Classroom” program at Uwharrie Charter Academy (UCA) in Asheboro, NC.
R. Reynolds Company has a strong background in industrial construction, working for the past 32 years within the sawmill industry on the East Coast. For over 3 decades, the company has constructed commercial warehouses, showrooms, churches, manufacturing facilities, and other projects—mainly working within North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina. D. R. Reynolds is a Design-Build General Contracting firm that understands this industry is not easy to work in and finding good help takes outreach within the local schools and communities to encourage and support the next generation of field journeyman, foreman, estimators, project managers, and business owners.
During his visit to UCA, Goosie Kennedy spoke to a two groups of students—middle and high school students—to inform them of construction career pathways while also discussing the future of the industry and job opportunities at D.R. Reynolds. A class of 22 UCA middle school students in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) program participated in the first session of Goosie’s classroom visit. Kennedy stated, “the middle school students were intrigued and asked quality questions concerning local projects being constructed around the local community.” A group of 20 UCA high school students were brought in for the second portion of the Contractors in the Classroom visit and according to Kennedy, “they asked questions about earning potential, the forecast of the industry, skillsets required to perform various jobs, how long different types of building projects last, what types of job opportunities were available at D.R. Reynolds and what those career pathways actually look like.”
Ian Thomsen, Metalworking and Apprenticeship Coordinator for the Uwharrie Charter Academy STEAM program, gave his endorsement of the Contractors in the Classroom program and the positive response from the UCA students to Goosie Kennedy’s presentation: “The Build Your Career Contractors in the Classroom initiative is a great program and our students also had a great experience! The Staff at UCA is just excited to see industry professionals interested in interacting with students.” Due to the success of Goosie’s classroom visit to UCA and the overwhelming positive response from the students, D.R. Reynolds has already been invited back to the school by UCA Principal Casey Harris as regular construction industry speakers for several sessions in the upcoming Fall semester!
When asked about the benefits and value he saw in participating as a BYC Ambassador to lead our Contractors in the Classroom program at Uwharrie Charter Academy, Goosie Kennedy said, “We must all do our part in spreading the word about the opportunities the construction field has. Travel, great pay, retirement, vacation benefits, skills for life, and advancement within your career are all part of my history within this field and will continue to be the constant for the next generation. I look forward to continuing the outreach I can do and providing insight and vision to the eyes of the younger ones behind me. With the combined efforts of the CAGC and Build Your Career, Contractors like D. R. Reynolds Company, and other BYC Ambassadors across the state, we can and WILL make a difference and we will turn the industry woes of lack of personnel into an industry flooded with quality talent, eager to build America!”
The CAGC Foundation’s Build Your Career workforce development initiative is committed to putting an end to the construction labor shortage crisis. Through BYC programs like Contractors in the Classroom, led by our amazing group of volunteer Ambassadors, combined with the continued support and endorsement from our highly-valued member firms, CAGC continues to build the next generation of construction professionals and a skilled labor pool—ultimately ensuring the growth and sustainability of our industry for many years to come!
For more information on the CAGC Foundation’s Build Your Career workforce development initiative, our Contractors in the Classroom program, to register your school for a classroom visit from one of our Ambassadors or to volunteer to become a BYC Ambassador, please contact Program Director, Tammy Ford, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (704) 995-3901. To make a contribution to BYC, please visit our secure online donation portal, https://carolinasagc.givingfuel.com/byc-ambassador-fund.