CCA construction students share their experiences

Construction students at Jones County Career Academy learn to hone their skills. Two seniors shared their experiences in the program and why they think it is important to have the skills they learned.

Twelfth-grader Michael Spivey said he really enjoyed working with his teacher, Nick DiPaolo, and learning with him. He said he was really able to apply the skills he learned this year.

“We did a few projects and new things this year. One thing I really enjoyed was when a roofing company came to high school and we were building a dollhouse,” he said. “It was not a traditional roof. It was probably one of my favorite things to do here.

Another twelfth grader, Kalen Phipps, said he enjoyed spending time with people he liked in class while he was learning. He said the skills he learned throughout high school will benefit him forever.

He said it took a lot of materials to build the dollhouse, but it was a fun learning experience. He said the roofing company taught them a lot.

“The dollhouse was quite big. You could almost live in it, so calling it a dollhouse was an understatement. It ended up being a really interesting project,” Phipps said.

Spivey said building things like the dollhouse is a great experience and a great way to learn new roofing skills.

“We usually build the dog houses, and Mr. DiP aolo can put that money back into our program here in Jones County. We also built some last year,” Spivey said. “They are usually not too expensive and easy to make. It’s something we’re doing for the people of Jones County.

He said the doghouses are of good quality and they are able to build a good number of them. He said he was happy to help build them and use those skills.

“I’ve always loved doing this kind of stuff since I was younger. I liked doing different jobs. My grandfather was a welder, so I always had the ambition to do things with my hands like him,” says the student.

Spivey said that when he started high school, he immediately enrolled in carpentry and construction classes, and has loved it ever since. He said DiPaolo’s classes are really relaxed.

Phipps said taking DiPaolo’s classes in high school honed his skills and he had a lot of fun while learning. He said DiPaolo is a great teacher and taught him everything he knows.

“My dad was a carpenter his whole life, so I wanted to get into the same thing. I wanted to see if I could be as good as him,” he said. “It’s something I enjoyed here in high school. It’s hard to pick one thing I like about my classes because it’s a fun experience overall.

Spivey said he considered a career in construction or welding. He said he likes being able to do things on his own and not rely on others. However, they both said they had no concrete plans for after high school.

“I feel like this year we have learned less and put more to use the skills we have acquired over the past three years. I want to get my welding certificate. It’s just a really cool tool to have. I just want to build whatever I want,” he said.

The student said others should consider the building program as it is fun and relaxed. He said he learned a lot in high school and was happy to be able to apply his skills in the real world.

“Construction and trades in general will always be there. Especially career-wise,” Spivey said. “Other jobs are in demand and not in demand, but people will always want things built for them. We can do that because we learned those skills here.

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