2017 Blueprint for Your Future

Columbia, SC March 10th – Midlands Education and Business Alliance, SC Department of Commerce and the Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina (BIA) hosted 60 students and educators from Midland’s school districts at the 51st Carolina Classic Home and Garden Show.  

Building Industry Association President, Bart Bartlett of Bartlett Law Firm, welcomed students to Blueprint for Your Future.  Mr. Bartlett invited students to take part in a fast growing career field full of opportunity to include business and finance, construction management, real estate, designer and beyond.  Blueprint for Your Future isa student field study designed for students interested in architecture and construction career paths. This event allows students to learn more about these careers, potential salary ranges, required skills and education, and extended learning opportunities available like job shadowing and internships. Blueprint for Your Future is an important experience for students as it provides them with real world exposure as they begin the college and career planning process.

Dan Warren, application engineer for TPM of Columbia, presented on “Technology Trends in Construction” such as 3D printing. MEBA constructed a panel of experts from the Midlands to address the students including Dan Warren (TPM of Columbia), Mark Hood (Hood Construction), Charlie Marra (Chapin Concrete), Tim Kehoe (Kehoe Constructors), Nichole Kopenahver (McCrory Construction), and Patrick Bukszar (Essex Homes).  Students learned first-hand about current and future workforce needs, entrepreneurship, different levels of skills and education and how one can build upon them and the importance of being a continued learner.  Charlie Marra with Chapin Concrete told students, “you need to have GRIT: strong work ethic, determination, willingness to learn and dependability to be successful in the construction industry.”

During the second half of the field study, students toured the Home & Garden Show to learn more about industry careers.  Students were also provided the opportunity to network with community partners and higher education to learn about education and training opportunities here in the Midlands as they relate to the industry.

"Connecting with business and industry is critical for students who are planning for college and career,” said Stan Beckley, Chairman of the Construction Workforce Coalition of the Building Industry Association of Central SC.  “These connections provide a great opportunity for industry experts to inform our educators and students about current workforce needs and future trends as we work together to establish a prepared and talented pipeline for the future of the Midlands and South Carolina."