Thirty-three years after graduating from a similar program in Arlington ISD, Dallas BA Past President Michael Turner of Classic Urban Homes returned to the building trades classroom. This time to visit with the next generation of builders and contractors at Waxahachie High School.
With the Dallas-Fort Worth area in need of 20,000 construction workers, instructor Curtis Green’s classes are growing as young people become more interested in the doors opened by acquiring construction skills. “Our program now includes more than 150 students,” said Green. “We have plenty of space and plenty of enthusiasm. However, we are short on materials, lumber in particular, and many of our tools first arrived here in the 1970s.”
“I’m not saying that you should or should not go to college,” Turner told the students. “I’m here to tell you my story about how I got to where I am now without a college degree so that you know how the skills you are acquiring here can be applied towards a career in construction or as a means to help you achieve your goals without the massive debt that often comes with student loans.”
Turner shared the plans of a recently completed custom home in Dallas and emphasized how discerning homebuyers demand quality work. “I’ll never forget my shop teacher after I left a piece of trim an eighth of an inch short asking me if I wanted to be a trim carpenter or a wood butcher. That stuck with me,” Turner said. “A good worth ethic and pride in your work will take you to great heights in this industry.”
The Dallas BA is working with Mr. Green and Waxahachie High School on a field trip to a construction site early next year. Builders and suppliers who can donate materials to the program are encouraged to contact the Dallas BA.