Welcome to “At Home With Tom & Sandy.” Here we are, Tom, speeding through 2020 already. Speaking of warp speed, yes Tom, I am exhausted, done-in, spent and dog-tired – and on the other end of the spectrum, exhilarated, ecstatic, delighted, joyful, overjoyed and euphoric.
Tom: For some of our readers that many not know, the month of January kept you going almost 24/7 with the second fantastic Boot Camp you orchestrated. You and the YCCA are certainly going above and beyond to help with the labor shortage the construction industry is facing. Have you come up for air yet?
Sandy: Indeed I have. For three weeks, I felt I was airborne, in-fight, mid-flight and high in the sky with the YCCA Boot Camp. What a huge success. We had 13 young adults graduate from the boot camp. A grand, great group of local contractors, suppliers, engineers and even an architect adding to the education of the industry and life in general.
Tom: I have seen the brochure YCCA and you put out there, but I understand you utilized some very unconventional recruiting techniques. And not just for the students!
Sandy: So it worked, Tom, when I said to you, “Tom you will be there or else!”
Our Boot Camp idea was once again overwhelmingly embraced by our school superintendents. Without hesitation and with their support, we reached our local graduating students and the majority of the young adults were from our local high schools.
Tom: The young adults that I was privileged to work with all were attentive and genuine in their desire to learn. Even the “boring” stuff like math. With the success of the boot camp these young adults wanted to learn, make a better life for themselves and their families and obtain a position in a rewarding career.
Sandy: Tom, the project would never have been accomplished without a lot of help and dedication from our community. The boot camp was not accomplished just because of YCCA’s efforts, but through the efforts of so many others. And with that, here goes my big hugs and big thanks to so many humans that had the desire to make a positive difference in 13 young wonderful lives known as Abraham, Nick, Tarvon, John, Calab, Jessica, Destiny, Georgina, Ashton, Robert, Jack, Joseph and Dylan.
Tom: Arizona Community Foundation stated the ball rolling when ACC awarded YCCA a $20,000 grant to make a metamorphosis somehow, some way, something in our community. The boot camp concept and an out-of-the-box idea was born in 2019 and rolled into 2020 with a second boot camp.
Sandy: Tom, the power of giving from so many wonderful humans in our community, who gave their patience, their heart and soul, their humor, a huge thank you for giving and in helping to make a positive difference in the lives of these young adults.
To John, our bus driver for three weeks from Prescott Unified School District: WOW, PUSD is lucky to have John behind the wheel of the big yellow bus! I loved the front seat ride glide! How great it is that PUSD offers a bus for rent, at a very reasonable rate with a driver. This was better than an Uber!
Tom: I was at the boot camp when Deb Peterson of Coaching Clarity By Definition talked with the young adults. That was a great way to start the boot camp off with a life coach. Deb’s words and communication were extraordinary and displayed love and warmth, which will affect their attitudes and life.
Sandy: We also had a magnificent group of local business leaders who talked about Workplace expectations: Matt Greenlee of Greenlee Designer Surfaces, Jeff Wasowicz of Fain Signature Group, Ken Foote of Footeworks, Garth Bascom of FANN Contracting, Jim Reed of Reed Brothers Construction, Josh Lewis of Foxworth, Laura Hamblin, JD Employment Law & Human Resources Consulting, Nate Howden of Western Sealant and Mike McNally of MTM Builders. Tom, the way these business owners spoke to the young adults and shared failures and life expectations, at the end, everyone learned from both sides.
Tom: Mandy Patton, an OSHA/Safety Trainer, on a scale of 1 of 10, is about 1,000,000,000 with safety. Our young adults received OSHA 10 certification and some great lessons. Safety is everywhere and on every job, not just construction but office, fast food, etc.
Sandy: Fred Engle of Graybar taught a low voltage class and these kids were wired! LOL. They loved it and really mastered the craft.
Tom: I heard nothing but glowing reports about the field trips and in classroom talks.
Sandy: Yep, the field trips were exciting – all over Yavapai County. Chuck Merritt and his entire crew and several of our board members and project managers from Concord General Contracting were on hand, and over three days, six fantastic doghouses were built. And these are DOGHOUSES! Hensel Phelps donated the power tools, Builders First Source donated all of the lumber and everyone loved this project.
And of course to you, Tom Reilly, hats off! A teacher of accomplishment you were with your blueprint reading and math skills. Thank you for giving your time and expertise many times throughout the course of three weeks. Next boot camp I see more blueprint reading and math skills in your future.
Tom: Wyatt Orr, Prescott and Dan from Earth Resources – there are no words. Their untiring devotion and love of earth work and yellow metal and Drone fly overs was cool, to say the least.
Sandy: One of the other great aspects of the boot camp was that all of the young adults were CPR and First Aid Certified. Lesa West of New Life CPR, I know there are no words to describe how she taught these men and women first aid, CPR and communicated – she is one great woman!
Tom, all of our boot camp volunteers represent what is good, fine and admirable. Every person and company is a vital and effective force in our area. The team spirit, hard work and loyalty to the industry that built America and will continue to build America and the spirit displayed by each and every one of these companies and their employees – hats off to everyone that helped make our second boot camp a success.
Tom: Sandy, it is remarkable of what you put together. This was a total volunteer Boot Camp and I am indeed humbled and proud of everyone that worked so hard to make this boot camp for 13 young adults a success.
It is great to know you, Sandy, and be a part of YCCA and work with so many wonderful companies in the most fabulous industry and community ever!
The community coming together to support a cause that is not only worthwhile but filling a huge need in the construction industry. You had presenters explaining just about every facet of the construction industry we involve locally.
Sandy: The goal was to expose the participants to as much of what is out there so they might find their interest and pursue their possibilities. We wanted them to really get good jobs and help fill up the labor gap that plagues all of our members.
Tom: Again, Sandy that is absolutely outstanding. The presenters also got some good exposure to potential workers. That is a real plus. I met some eager people during my presentation. A great many were like sponges soaking up all manner of info. At our last session I asked what they thought of the program and all were pumped up to move forward.
Sandy: As of today, we have placed eight young adults to work in the construction industry and made connections for others in fields of their passion and interest. I would call that successful.
The other wonderful outcome of the boot camp was every attendee left the boot camp with a professionally prepared resume. That was a huge step to them landing interviews.
Tom: It is a great way for the companies to see the interest in people wanting to get to work. I know I am impressed with the enthusiasm I saw at the presentations. Pleasantly surprised would characterize my reaction.
Sandy: They were all great young adults and, as you said, eager to learn and make a difference.
Tom: So, where does this go from here? I think YCCA is on their way to make this an annual event. One of the participants said they wish they had this in high school. Do you have plans to work with the local school districts?
Sandy: Tom, ideas are bounding, springing and bouncing and we are in communication with Bradshaw Mountain High School. The phone calls are coming in about “another boot camp.”
Tom: Sign me up! I am on board!
Sandy: Boot Camp, here we come!
Thanks for stopping in and reading “At Home with Tom and Sandy.” You’re in good company and we love sharing educational, fun and important information with you. QCBN
Tom Reilly, Architect, Contractor,
Renovations 928-445-8506 r
Sandy Griffis, Executive Director,
Yavapai County Contractors Association. 928-778-0040.