If there is a noticeable theme about 2015, I’d say attracting and retaining a qualified labor force seems to be on everyone’s mind.
J.P. Cullen & Sons, based in Janesville, Wisconsin, held the company’s first Cullen Career Fair in April, with the goal of educating young people about a promising and prosperous career in construction. “What we want to accomplish is to get serious candidates to come see us,” says Joe Schwengels, construction superintendent at Cullen. “We’ll host the event, include hands-on activities, and give exposure to the other trades we work with to set up a program that is educational. We look at this as an opportunity for a community outreach event to get people excited about construction.”
With a total of 150 students plus teachers and staff in attendance, Schwengels considers it a success. The contractor invited 20 schools to participate in the event, 14 of which accepted the offer.
“We created this opportunity for students to meet a variety of trades,” he says. “Believing in the trades as an opportunity for a career is the mindset we had. It’s clear that college, as a means to a career, is not the path for everyone. We need to educate the parents, the school staff and the kids on the career opportunities that our available in construction,” he says. “This was our way of trying to accomplish that need. Our company culture is to be forward thinkers and solve problems from all sorts of directions.”
The Cullen Career Fair is anticipated to be an annual event as planning for the spring 2016 edition is currently underway.
Congrats J.P. Cullen & Sons, we salute you for trying to make a difference.
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