Batson-Cook High School Internship Program: A Success!

Filed in Giving Back on July 25, 2018

ATLANTA, GA (July 25, 2018) - Three high school seniors decided during their last semester of school to consider careers in construction, and Batson-Cook’s High School Internship Program is the reason!

Eric Hinton and Chavon Grazier from the Fulton County Schools College and Career Academy, along with Chris Adams from Atlanta’s Crim High School, participated in Batson-Cook’s first-ever high school internship program this Spring. For 12 weeks, each worked alongside several Batson-Cook team members at our Northside Hospital Midtown MOB project to be exposed to various aspects of commercial construction.

The results:

Eric Hinton (left) has already accepted with IBEW to pursue an apprenticeship and career as an electrician. He said he thoroughly enjoyed learning about different areas of work at the jobsite, but the electrical trade piqued his interest most. Justin Gilliam was his primary mentor.

Chavon Grazier (center) has enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps and plans to enter their engineering program.  Teja Velagapudi was her primary mentor.

Chris Adams (right) also found the electrical trade to be the most interesting. As a result, Jerry McMichen, Chris’s primary mentor, put him in touch with one of our electrical subs to discuss his possibilities for the future.

McMichen said that construction trades internship programs, especially at the high school level, are needed because students are rarely exposed to the construction trades because few schools offer vocational training. He noted that when he was in high school, one of his vocational classes built a 12x12 shed that was purchased by someone in the community and used for at least 40 years!

Velagapudi was impressed by Chavon’s diligent approach to the tasks she was asked to do. “It was her first experience with construction, but she was 100-percent focused on getting everything right,” she noted.

Workforce development was among Randy Hall’s core initiatives during his tenure as president of AGC Georgia and continues to be at the forefront of Batson-Cook’s endeavors. Under Jimmy Kennedy’s leadership, the company spearheaded the renovation and equipping of a construction trades classroom at Crim High School in Atlanta. The Jacksonville Office provided a tour of its Baptist Medical South project for construction students at University of North Florida. It was the first visit to a commercial construction site for a couple of them. These are just two of many opportunities Batson-Cook offers to young people with an interest in our industry.

Dela Rakestraw, Batson-Cook’s human resources generalist, recruits on college campuses and spearheads the company’s internship program. She expects another high school internship program to take place in the near future.

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