A career in a trade means job security without college tuition debt
Dear Middle & High School Student,
With graduation ceremonies right around the corner and well-meaning adults asking you that tried and true question “What do you want to do when you grow up?” at low country boils and baseball games, the future seems to be on everyone’s mind. And with that, you may feel overwhelmed – especially if you already know that a traditional college experience just isn’t for you. I’m here to tell you -- it’s okay. In fact, it’s better than just okay. You have options for a successful future that includes job security in a great paying job without the burden of college debt. I’m talking about a career in a trade such as electrical maintenance and repair, plumbing, welding, HVAC, carpentry and general construction, just to name a few. And girls, I’m talking to you, too. After all, I’m the owner of a construction company and I can talk shop with the best of them.
In 2009, I purchased Collins Construction headquartered in Savannah, and have grown the company in Georgia and South Carolina with residential, commercial and industrial construction and renovations. Through hard work, determination and an emphasis on customer service we survived the lean years of the recession and have steadily grown. Many of the buildings that we’ve built or renovated are places you ride by every day including the Georgia Ports Authority, the Chatham County Courthouse, Georgia Power, Hilton Head Volvo and Candler Hospital. I grew up in Savannah and our company believes in hiring locally and supporting the community where we live, work and play.
So, here’s where you come in. Over the years I’ve noticed a distinct decline in our work force of trained specialists who are vital to the construction industry and to our community as a whole. Careers in these fields are in high demand and pay well so why is there such a shortage? Could it be that we undervalue these jobs by inadvertently sending the message to our students that anything short of a college degree is second best? We have outstanding technical colleges in our community with campuses in surrounding counties that provide the educational background and training necessary to propel their graduates to successful careers. There are also many non-profits who engage with students with mentorship programs, internships and training to help propel them for future success. So be encouraged, middle and high school student! Have a conversation today about what the future can hold for you outside of a college experience. You have great options and employers like me are in dire need of people like you.
Dawn Morgan is the owner of Collins Construction and a native of Savannah. The firm has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and has offices in Savannah and Beaufort, SC.