Go Build Alabama, an initiative of the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute (ACRI), has named Megan Coleman the March recipient of the 2019 Go Build Alabama Student of the Month scholarship award.
Coleman, a senior, is currently participating in Holt High School’s dual enrollment program at the Tuscaloosa Career and Technology Academy (TCTA) with a concentration in welding. Upon graduation, she plans to complete the UA Local 372 Apprenticeship Program and work as a welding apprentice at McAbee Construction in Tuscaloosa. She also hopes to attend Shelton State Community College.
“I love to weld and work with others — if I do what I love, I will not have to work one single day of my life,” Coleman said.“Welding just calms me. It’s that simple.”
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.
Also, every year during the month of March, Go Build Alabama partners with Alabama’s National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) chapter to celebrate Women in Construction (WIC) Week, and for 2019, it is being held March 3-9. NAWIC’s mission is to enhance the success of women in the construction industry. Construction has less than 9% of women working in the industry nationally — in the actual trades, it is only 3%. The focus of WIC Week is to highlight women as a visible component of the construction industry, and Coleman is a great example of this initiative.
“As a female welding student, I have found that the demand for my knowledge is very high in the local, national and worldwide industry,” Coleman said. “In ninth grade, I signed up for a cosmetology class. Unbeknownst to me, I was placed in the automotive program. While in that program, I observed my instructor soldering. At that moment, I decided to pursue a career in welding. Now, I am in my third year as a welding student at TCTA and Shelton State Community College. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of support I have been given by the local school systems, state of Alabama and the local industry. All of this support has inspired me to continue in this amazing career path.”
Upon graduation, recipients will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to continue their education 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 campaign in August of 2010 in 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.