MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Go Build Alabama, an initiative of the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute (ACRI), has selected Hale County High School senior Elijah Steele as the recipient of the January Go Build Alabama Student of the Month scholarship award.
Steele has been taking Industrial Maintenance classes for three years now, and he currently works part-time with Big John Smith Construction Company. Additionally, Steele is a member of the Hale County High School track team.
After graduating in May, Steele plans to attend Shelton State Community College and enroll in the Mercedes Mechatronics program.
“Elijah has always shown me that he is focused on his future by trying to determine the right pathways in school,” said Lovell Briggins, Steele’s Industrial Maintenance teacher. “He even built his own 3D printer. He’s always trying something new.”
Steele credits his love of the skilled trades to his father, who operated his own construction company, Steele Construction, and showed him the ropes when he was three years old.
“He taught me the tools of the trade, how to read and draw blueprints, how to create estimates for contract jobs, and more importantly, make a name for myself,” said Steele. “I am intrigued by the carpentry and construction fields because you start with raw material and build up.”
Go Build Alabama’s Student of the Month scholarship is given to one high school junior or senior every month during the school year by the ACRI. It is designed to support students who pursue careers in the construction industry, a field that offers a wide variety of rewarding career paths.
Upon graduation, recipients will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue their training at an Alabama institution of higher education. Scholarships are made possible through proceeds from the Big Dog Poker Run, an annual motorcycle benefit ride organized by CraneWorks and Garrison Steel.
Teachers, principals, and other school personnel are encouraged to nominate students for our monthly Go Build Alabama Student of the Month award. To be eligible, students must be high school juniors or seniors with a demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in construction. They must also be enrolled in, or have been enrolled in, technical courses related to the skilled trades, or have plans to continue their education in the construction industry after graduating high school.
About Go Build Alabama
ACRI launched the Go Build Alabama campaign in August of 2010 in an effort to prepare for the anticipated shortage as older tradesmen leave the workforce. One third of all skilled tradesmen in the construction industry are over the age of 50. With their retirement on the horizon, training programs are not producing enough young workers to replace those exiting the industry. The Go Build campaign aims to recruit the next generation of skilled construction trade workers. Visit GoBuildAlabama.com for more.