City Spotlight 413 – Effingham

Coming up on City Spotlight, we’re on location for a new episode on Effingham as we talk
construction trades education curriculum, or CTEC. We’ll talk with the lead facilitator for CTEC,
Jedediah Shumaker, about this year’s class in the CTEC program and where the program
is in now year three. Then we’ll talk with a couple of local contractors,
Marty Stock of Homebuilders Plus, and Shane Frederking of Frederking Construction, about
the role of local contractors with the CTEC program. Finally we’ll talk with a couple of alumni
of the CTEC program, Dick Wente and Tom Flood, about their experiences and the skills they
learned with the CTEC program. We’re on location in Effingham as we’re talking
the construction trades class next on City Spotlight. [music plays] City Spotlight is supported
by Consolidated Communications. CCI is honored to salute the cities and their
leaders in the area, as well as providing TV, Internet, and phone service for the local
homes and businesses. We live where we work, and are proud to support
the communities we serve. More information available at Thank you to all of you or joining us for
this latest episode of City Spotlight. As you can tell, we are not in the studio. We are on location in Effingham and we’re
at the construction trades class, construction trades education curriculum, or CTEC as we’ll
reference it throughout the program. To start off this first segment here, the
first of three segments here on the CTEC program, we have Jedediah Shumaker. He’s the lead facilitator for CTEC. Welcome to the program Jed. Jedediah:
Thanks Rameen. Rameen:
It’s a pleasure. First time on the program. Before we talked in depth of what CTEC is,
we kind of already talked about the program over here in the spring on City Spotlight. Tell us about yourself and how long you’ve
been affiliated with the CTEC program. Jedediah:
Firstly, I’m a product of EIU’s math department. I moved back to Effingham, where I’m originally
from. I saw a lot of opportunity here. Currently I’m employed by Effingham Unit 40
School District. I’m the lead facilitator for the CTEC class
as well as shop teacher at the high school. Rameen:
Very good. A pleasure. Glad to have you on here. You said you’re the lead facilitator for the
program? Jedediah:
Yeah. Rameen:
What does a facilitator do? Jedediah:
For this class the role that I play is a little bit less of being the teacher out front. Our program is based on the idea that we want
to bring the contractors and the professionals currently employed in the industry into the
classroom to do the teaching, so as a facilitator that’s what my role is, is to get these contractors
into the classroom and to open up job sites for our students to go visit. Then aside from that, during class my role
is more to document what we’re doing, because, again, I want the contractors to do the teaching. They’ve got a lot more experience and they
do this stuff every day. I don’t. Rameen:
Okay. Very good. We’ll talk about that a little bit later,
and also hear from a couple of contractors. Tell us about … This is year three of CTEC,
so tell us about this year’s class and where they’re from. Jedediah:
We take applicants from all six of the county high schools for the program. This year we’ve got 17 students. Our goal class size is 20. We had a couple of students that moved out
of the school district right at the beginning of the school year and we couldn’t get those
slots filled. Our students come from the Effingham High
School as well as St. Anthony here in Effingham. We also have the Teutopolis High School, Dietrich,
Altamont and Beecher City involved. Rameen:
Very good. What growth have you seen in the program from
year one to two to now, which is year three? Jedediah:
The first year of the class we had an idea of what we wanted to accomplish and we had
some really good ideas of how to get there. Over the past three years we’ve learned a
lot. Part of my role over the summer is to go and
speak with the employers of our students as well as the volunteer instructors and the
alumni themselves. I’ve taken a lot of their input, incorporated
it in our class here, and we’ve been kind of surprised on what our emphasis should be
with the class. Rameen:
The contractors, which we’ll hear in the next segment, their receptiveness to coming and
taking the time from their job to be here? Do they see the value in this class? Jedediah:
Absolutely. It is a big commitment for the contractors
to being here, especially right now. This time of the year is your peak building
season, before the winter, but they understand. Every contractor we talk to, they talk about
having 50 to 70 or 80% of their workforce retire the next 10 to 15 years with no young
people coming in, so they absolutely understand the need that we need to start developing
young people and teaching them the opportunities available in the construction trades industry
so that we can get some young blood in our workforce. Rameen:
From what you oversee of the contractors that are here on a daily basis and the students,
talk about that working environment and what that’s like. Jedediah:
Again, our goal is to bring the contractors in in front of the students. That way they have that experience teaching
them. As a teacher they see me every day in front
of the classroom, and not that they don’t believe what I’m saying, but somebody that
was working in the field yesterday and he’s going to be working in the field doing this
stuff later on today, whenever they’re teaching them what to do, I think it drives home what’s
important there, as well as the fact that these contractors are investing in the students. I think that goes a long ways to convincing
them what opportunities are going to be available for them in the future. Rameen:
So you’ve hit the third year mark here on construction trades class and the contractors
are invested, making the time. Why is this class needed here now here in
Effingham County? Jedediah:
Again, there is not a contractor that we talk to that doesn’t tell us that half of his workforce
is going to retire in the next five to 10 years. It is not uncommon for us to talk to contractors
that say they’ve got one guy in their 20s, one guy in their 30s, and everybody else is
40 and 50. Again, there’s a big void there that needs
to be filled for the workforce. On the other side, the students, they may
not realize what opportunities are available to them. I know that I didn’t whenever I was leaving
high school. The major emphasis of our program is career
education, just showing them how many jobs are available in the construction trades field,
and not just residential. We look at industrial, commercial, agricultural
settings. We talk to the salesmen and the architects
and the surveyors, not just the guys that are swinging hammers and pushing shovels. Rameen:
In our last segment of the program we’ve already taped that with a couple of your alumni from
the first and second year classes here at CTEC, and they both kind of talked about in
addition to learning these awesome skills from these professionals the personal skills
that they’ve learned as well. Jedediah:
Yeah. That’s been one of the surprising things that
we found in running this program. In our first year the emphasis was definitely
hands on. This is a trades class, so we’ll never get
away from teaching the hands on skills, but what we found from talking to employers and
alumni is that it’s the interpersonal soft skills, as we call them, that are just as
important, if not more important. A major part of our curriculum is tailored
to teaching them communication skills, just things as simple as just shaking hands and
being comfortable introducing themselves with people. We also do leadership training. Our students leave having created their own
resumes and been through … Learning some interview strategies. Then we also hit math pretty hard. Rameen:
All right, the math skills in there as well? Very good. Final question for you Jed, and we appreciate
your time here on City Spotlight. What do you enjoy most about the class and
what it’s doing for young people and everyone here in Effingham County? Jedediah:
Gosh, this is an awesome program and I really wish that something like this had been around
whenever I was going through high school. I might not be a high school shop teacher
then. Just the learning, how they’re exposed to
so many different avenues, and then the personal growth in our students. Talking to our students the first couple months
of the class versus the young adult that graduates from the program at the end of the year is
very rewarding. Rameen:
Very good. Wonderful class. I was able to come here in the spring after
we did that one hour Effingham program and learn a little bit about it, so more learned
here today on the CTEC program, the first of three segments. Jedediah Shumaker, lead facilitator for CTEC,
we appreciate your time here on City Spotlight. Jedediah:
Thank you. Rameen:
Coming up next here on City Spotlight, we’ll continue this episode here talking about CTEC. We’ll talk with a couple of contractors here
in Effingham County, but first let’s take a look at some of the upcoming activities
going on in Effingham. [music plays] And we’re back here on City Spotlight, this
on location episode in Effingham, as we continue to talk about construction trades class, and
now we’re going to talk to a couple of contractors that are involved in the CTEC program. We have Marty Stock. He’s the owner of the Homebuilders Plus, and
he’s also a CTEC board member. Welcome to the program Marty. Marty:
Thank you. Rameen:
And we have Shane Frederking. He’s the owner of Frederking Construction. He’s also a CTEC board member. Welcome to the program Shane. Shane:
Thank you. Rameen:
I appreciate you guys being here. I’m looking forward to your insights on why
you guys are part of the CTEC program. But first off, your first-time guests on the
program. Can you tell us about yourself and tell us
a little bit about the business you’re affiliated with. First you Marty. Marty:
My name is obviously Marty Stock. I’m with Homebuilders Plus here in town. I’ve been in business for 30 years. We’re a residential contractor, which is a
lot of what this program is about. This is really all I’ve ever done right out
of high school, like a lot of these students will be doing. Obviously I’m enthused about this program,
and that’s pretty much it. That’s who I am. Rameen:
Thank you very much. And Shane, can you tell us about yourself
and a little bit about Frederking Construction please? Shane:
Sure. I’m Shane Frederking with Frederking Construction. We’re located in Altamont. We do a lot of residential construction as
well. I’ve been doing it full time since ’95 when
I graduated from Lakeland at the building construction technology program. Rameen:
Very good. My questions will be directed to both of you,
so we’ll have Marty answer first and then answered by Shane. My first question for you is what do you guys
see as your role in the class? Marty:
I believe our role in this class is to kind of assist the instructor obviously first and
to assist the students. As not only board members, but as a contractor
coming in, we have an insight that maybe you might not get in any kind of a classroom scenario. Obviously it’s experience on the job, and
our long time experience being in the business will contribute to that a lot. Rameen:
Okay. Very good. Shane, anything you could add to that? Shane:
Basically I would say it’s something for us to give back to the students. From our standpoint of us being contractors
is we would like to see them in this trade, as the trade needs these skilled workers to
take over whenever we are retiring and that kind of stuff. We just want to bring it back up, and to be
here for them basically to say you’re the person that could take over our job someday. Rameen:
Okay. Very good. Before we taped this segment this morning
you guys were out here with the students working on a project. Can you tell me about some of the skills that
you were maybe working with them this morning? Marty:
On my end, we’re working on a cooler, so we were insulating for one of the jobs that we
were doing. Obviously these students have never done it
before, but as simple as that may sound there’s certainly a technique to that. Obviously we were doing a few other things
as well, prepping before that. We were putting a rod through the end for
a pull rod, and these students had to figure out where to put these, so you had to locate
that and bore different 4x4s. They had to learn to get the location just
right. There’s certainly some skill to that. You have to understand how that works. Rameen:
Okay. And Shane, tell us about what you were doing
this morning with the students, some of the skills and things you were teaching them. Shane:
Okay. The students I was overseeing, they were building
their own trusses for their module. They built seven of them. They had to precut all the angles, so you
had one set of guys doing that as the other guys were fastening it together. I just kind of oversee and saw they were making
a few mistakes. Let them make the mistake and then correct
them as here’s how you would need to go about it. That way they can learn. That’s the only way truly that they’re going
to learn in this industry. Rameen:
Marty and Shane, you guys are both the professionals here, hopefully being able to teach these
kids these skills that they can move forward with them. One of the goals of the class I would imagine
would be to teach these kids these construction and trade skills and be able to keep them
locally. Talk about that aspect of the program and
these kids being future construction trades workers here in Effingham County. Marty:
Yeah. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do, is
to keep them here. We have a demand not just here, but nationwide. We have a demand for skilled trades people,
so for us to come in and teach these kids I think is very, very important. Rameen:
From your vantage point, Shane, what can you add to that? Shane:
The goal of the program has always been giving them a general aspect of all the trades, whether
it be plumbing, carpentry, electrical, all the aspects of the building trades, and let
them choose at that point at the end of the year which route that they might want to go. Basically they’re going to be … Every one
of the students are going to be employable by the end of their senior year and ready
for the workforce if need be. Rameen:
This is probably a question I may have asked a question ago, but a followup to what you
guys are teaching them individually. When you see the kids working in there, I
mean what’s the reaction to some of the things you guys are teaching them to them? Is it eyeopening to some of them or is it
stuff they’ve kind of done before? What are some of the reactions you see of
the students in there. Marty:
Obviously some of them have, but as a rule most of them have not tackled any of these
things and you can tell. They’re very green, but it’s amazing, a little
bit of assistance and they catch on real easily. Obviously that’s the goal of this, but I’m
always impressed by how just a little bit of time with them, it’s amazing, they pick
up on it pretty quickly. Rameen:
You had a couple of moments while I was filming you in that one room, you were teaching them
a couple of things … I think they were maybe measuring. Talk about working with them one-on-one and
how they are receptive to your criticism. Shane:
Sure. All it was was I seen that there might have
been a mistake there so I just let them go ahead. Now here’s what you would need to do and adapt
to change. That’s what it’s always about in the construction
industry, is okay if you have an issue how do we change it? I was just giving them a tip of this is what
I would do to bring this in closer and get your tolerances a little bit less. Rameen:
Okay. As we wrap up with you gentlemen here I have
a couple of questions left. Why is this class needed in Effingham County
right now? Marty:
Again, it really comes back to the demand. Not only the demand, but there are a lot of
students out here that can use some direction. There’s a void that needs to be filled, so
it’s kind of twofold in my eyes. We can find a place for some of these students
to fit and maybe give them something that they can use for life, and then also help
in our industry as well to fill those voids on our side. Rameen:
Very good. And from your perspective Shane, why is CTEC
needed now in Effingham County? Shane:
I can see that the youth need a little bit more instruction as far as that goes. I mean their communication is excellent by
the time that they get out of this class and I think that’s going to help them in the workforce
if they choose not to go to college. Rameen:
Very good. My last question for you gentlemen is what
do you guys get out of it? What’s your enjoyment of being here in this
class? Marty? Marty:
Any time you can see young kids develop and kind of blossom, certainly from a personal
standpoint most of these young men … And I say young men. When they come in they may be lacking in some
of the social skills and life skills, but when they leave they’ve certainly developed
those a lot and that’s really pleasant and it’s something that I really enjoy seeing. I mean they develop as individuals as much
as anything. Rameen:
Very good. Shane, from your perspective what do you enjoy
most about being here? Shane:
I feel it’s an opportunity to give back for the construction industry. I think it’s a neat, that I might be able
to give them a little bit of something, and I also learn a whole lot from the students
as well. Rameen:
All right. Wonderful. Great learning environment for everyone. Very good. Marty Stock of Homebuilders Plus here in Effingham
and Shane Frederking, the owner of Frederking Construction in Altamont. Gentlemen, thank you for being here on City
Spotlight. Marty:
You’re welcome. Shane:
Thank you. Rameen:
Coming up next here on City Spotlight, we’ll talk with a couple of CTEC alumni. Stay with us. [music plays] City Spotlight is on youtube. Past episodes can be viewed on East Central
Illinois towns, that have been featured on City Spotlight. Just search on youtube, City Spotlight with
the show number, and the name of the town. Listed on your screen are the recent episodes
of City Spotlight.[music plays] And we’re back here in City Spotlight, this
final segment here on this on location episode in Effingham on CTEC. We’re going to talk with a couple of alumni
of the CTEC. We have Dick Wente. He’s currently employed by AKRA, and I understand
you’re currently in school. Can you tell us about yourself and also you
were in the CTEC class? Dick:
I was a member of the first year class when I was a senior. I went to Teutopolis High School and after
the program I decided to go to a school in Indiana, over in Vincennes. I’m in the construction technology program
at Vincennes, Indiana. I’m on my second and last year there. I’ll be done in May. In the summer I was employed by AKRA Builders. Rameen:
Very good. Thank you for being here. We also have Tom Flood. He’s also an alumni of the CTEC program, and
you’re currently employed by Wente Plumbing. Can you tell us about yourself please? Tom:
Yeah. I’m Tom Flood. I was in the CTEC class last year. I went to Dietrich High School and then after
the year was up I went and started working at Wente Plumbing. Rameen:
Very good. Thank you guys for being here. Recent alumni of the program, it’s in its
third year, so it’s trying to move forward and go to longevity here in Effingham County. Memories of being in this class, whether it
be one particular memory or just the overall thoughts of the whole class in general, what
are some things that stand out to you that you enjoyed the most? I’ll start with you Dick. Dick:
I think a lot of the job site visits that we would take are really some of the things
that I remember most, because I actually got to go out and see … It wasn’t just driving
by it every day and it wasn’t learning from a book. We actually got to go out and look at what
was going on, meet the contractors, meet the employees, see what was going on, and a lot
of that really stuck out in my mind because this is where I will be working after high
school, after college. Going on a lot of the job site visits was
definitely my favorite thing to do I think. Rameen:
Let me ask you one followup question and then we’ll ask the same question to Tom. Why did you want to partake in this class? Why was it important for you to be a part
of the CTEC program? Dick:
I think it had a lot to do with my dad always saying you need to learn how to do things
on your own so you don’t have to pay someone to do it. My freshman year of high school, we built
the barn at my house and I kind of got to thinking I don’t know how to do it. I mean dad did, so this program kind of came
up and we weren’t sure what it was going to be. It was the first year. No one had a clue, and I was like I’ll try
it and maybe I’ll learn something, and it’s kind of snowballed into my life now. Rameen:
Very good. Thank you for your answers there. Tom, memories of being in this class and what
you learned from it? Tom:
I liked the hands on stuff, like how we built our own modules in the class. We shingled them ourselves, we did all hands
on, so like we learned as we went, so I liked that part. Rameen:
Why did you … To follow up with the question I asked him as well, why did you feel like
it was necessary for you to be a part of this class? Tom:
I just … Construction interested me and I was wanting to learn more about it, so I
seen the class as an opportunity. Rameen:
Very good. In our last segment we talked with a couple
of contractors that were here. Having been in the class, you were in the
classroom with them. They’re the professionals. They’re teaching you what they know so that
hopefully it carries on to you guys, and obviously you’re continuing with those skills now in
what you just told me. The opportunity to work with professional
contractors in the classroom, talk about that experience. Dick:
It’s a very humbling experience. It’s crazy to think how much that we don’t
know yet still as students, but it’s … Watching them do things and you think someday I’ll
be able to show someone how to do that and to be able to be successful and a professional
in whatever field that may be, whether it’s concrete or residential carpentry, and to
me it’s just super humbling. I have so much more to learn. They’ve been building for 20-30 years and
I think I know a lot, but I don’t have a clue compared to these guys. Rameen:
We always continue learning, right? Dick:
Right. Every day. Rameen:
And Tom, your thoughts of being in the program and being able to work with these professionals
in the class? Tom:
I thought it was pretty cool. Now that I’m on the job site, like I still
work with them and it’s continuing and I still learn. I’m learning every day. Rameen:
Very good. You guys were here today in the class helping
out with the students. From your perspective to see this next class,
this third class, bring back pleasant thoughts of when you were in the class just a year
or two ago? Dick:
Yeah. I mean it kind of brought back memories of
high school. I talk like it was so long ago, it was only
two years, but yeah, I mean coming here, it was different than regular school. You get here early. I’m in a different building from where I actually
went to high school, and it was nice to see the same kind of setup, just different kids
doing different things. The teachers are the same and the contractors
are the same, but it’s still good to come back and see everything. Rameen:
Tom, Dick mentioned something a couple answers ago about being able to be out of the classroom,
and this is a pretty unique learning environment. Talk about that experience for you. Tom:
Yeah. It’s pretty cool. We always were going on jobs, going to job
sites and stuff. We’re not just in the classroom. We’re always going somewhere to learn about
stuff and it’s pretty cool. Rameen:
Awesome. Very good. The most enjoyable thing or something enjoyable
that you took away from the class when you were done with it? Dick:
I think I took away the fact that construction can be a career 100% and it can be a successful
career. If you are willing to work for it, you can
make something great for yourself. I’m always thinking about how I’m going to
make it in the world, finding something. Even though I haven’t really found my niche
yet, I kind of discovered that this industry as a whole you can make a living out of and
be happy and successful. It made me happy, because going into high
school I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do with my life and now I’m getting closer
I think to figuring it out. Rameen:
All right. Tom, what’s something that you took away from
the class when you were done with it? Tom:
It’s just not the construction. You learn social skills, like meeting all
the other kids from the different schools and talking with the contractors and stuff,
it just … You get more social and … Yeah. Rameen:
You get to work with students from all different high schools in Effingham County. It must have been very unique. Last question for you gentlemen. I appreciate your time here on City Spotlight. This class is in its third year. Why do you think in your opinion this class
needs to continue to move forward and be a part of teaching these kids skills here in
Effingham County? Dick:
It basically comes down to there’s so much work out there and not enough workers. The same with me, I didn’t realize how much
of a void there was until I joined the program, delved a little farther into it and I was
like there is an opportunity, and kids wouldn’t know that without a program like this. Tom and I both got jobs through companies
locally because they had a need for us and they saw that we went through the program
and it was pretty much an easy hire for both of us I feel like. That’s why it’s important, because people
in our area, contractors, they all need help and a lot of us are willing to do it, but
we wouldn’t know about it without this program. Rameen:
Tom, what can you add to what Dick’s comment there about why this is needed now in Effingham
County? Tom:
Like Dick said, there’s so much of a demand for it. It’s like being on job sites and stuff, I’m
the youngest one out there most of the time. Everybody is in their mid-40s and there’s
just a high demand for us. Rameen:
Very good. Dick Wente, Tom Flood, alumni of the CTEC
program, currently employed also. We appreciate your comments here today on
City Spotlight. Dick:
Thank you. Tom:
Thanks. Rameen:
That will do it for this on location episode in Effingham on the CTEC program. Appreciate you guys checking this episode
out and we’ll see you next time. City Spotlight is supported by Consolidated
Communications. CCI is honored to salute the cities and their
leaders in the area, as well as providing TV, Internet, and phone service for the local
homes and businesses. We live where we work, and are proud to support
the communities we serve. More information available at [music plays]

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