ATLANTA, GA (Oct. 26, 2017) - Batson-Cook Company was named Atlanta Public Schools “2017 Jackson Cluster Partner of the Year” yesterday for its significant contributions to Crim Open Campus High School’s construction trades program. The award, presented at the APyeS! Awards Reception at Woodruff Arts Center, was accepted by Jimmy Kennedy, healthcare project executive for Batson-Cook and chair of its Crim partnership initiative.
More than a year ago, Batson-Cook adopted Crim High School as part of AGC of Georgia’s Workforce Development Program to introduce high school students to the construction trades. Kennedy volunteered to lead the effort and quickly identified Crim’s need for a new construction lab and classroom. Within 10 months, he had formed an alliance with two-dozen trade partners to design, build out, and equip a construction lab and classroom in space that was once the school’s culinary lab. The grand opening was held in April.
“Each year, I have been humbled by the generosity of the Atlanta community,” Rachel Sprecher, executive director of the Office of Partnerships & Development for APS, told Kennedy. “There is no finer example of this than your partnership’s commitment to our schools,” she continued. “It goes without saying that you are an incredible example of what it means to be a valued partner.”
Said Randy Hall, CEO of Batson-Cook and past-president of AGC Georgia: “I am thrilled that the dedication of Jimmy Kennedy and the Workforce Development alliance to this project has been recognized in such a meaningful way. The students who were part of this project, however, are the true winners,” he noted, “because they were introduced to the rewards of a construction career, now have state-of-the-art equipment to learn the plumbing, electric, masonry and carpentry trades, and have become passionate about the opportunities that await them.”
Batson-Cook and Workforce Development trade partners will continue their partnership with Crim High School in a variety of ways, including providing one-on-one instruction to students. At present, Crim is the only high school in the Atlanta system offering a construction program.
Pictured: Jimmy Kennedy (right), with Batson-Cook, shares a moment with Richard Elder (left), construction trades instructor at Crim HS and manager of its Work-Based Learning Program