174 graduating from ABC Pelican Baton Rouge Training Center

ABC Pelican graduation

Some 174 students will graduate this week from the  Pelican Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. Baton Rouge Training Center after completing craft training courses in electrical, heavy equipment, millwright, mobile crane, instrumentation, pipefitting, project supervision, site safety and welding.

Six welders have completed two levels of welding credentials in a single semester.

“These credentials do not appear out of thin air, but result from countless hours of grit, dedication, focus and sacrifice,” says David Helveston, president and CEO of the chapter. “Whether these craft professionals utilize these skills on a job site, in a shop or to teach future craft workers, they are building our community stronger, brighter and better.”

One graduate is Dameon Jackson, an agriscience and carpentry teacher at Northeast High School in Pride. Jackson, 43, has completed four levels of electrical course work with ABC Pelican over the past two years  while teaching ninth through twelfth grade students. Jackson believes the best teachers are lifelong students, and he hopes to teach his students electrical courses in the near future.

“The earlier you can start your career, the better you will be,” is a piece of wisdom that Jackson, a Greensburg native and father of three, continuously shares with his students. “Why wait until your 30s when you can start thinking about a career in high school?”

Tim Gros of ISC Constructors will also be graduating on Thursday with both electrical and instrumentation credentials. The Springfield native and new dad worked four, 16-hour days each week for the past two years to complete his education. “Like anything, what you get out of something is what you put in to it,” he says. “Work hard at this program and it will pay off.”

The ceremony is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. at L’Auberge Baton Rouge. Guest speaker is  ISC Constructors co-founder Eddie Rispone, a former ABC Pelican and ABC National Chair who is now running for governor. Pelican Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. was incorporated in 1980 and covers 52 parishes in Louisiana.