Workforce Development Initiatives

Curtis Lumber Is Proud To Support Workforce Development

To raise awareness that the construction trades offer exciting and rewarding careers, Curtis Lumber partners with over 40 area professionals from a wide range of schools, businesses and organizations to engage local students. Here is a snapshot of some recent events.

Toolbox Assembly at Green Meadow School

What a great way to wrap up the school year introducing students to the trades!  Thank you to Carl Gray, Brian McVay, and Taylor from our East Greenbush store for leading a toolbox assembly class of 62 fourth grade students at Green Meadow School.  They partnered with their customers Bennett Contracting, TLC Customs and Otterbeck Builders as well as BOCES Questar to provide a great experience for the students. There was a write-up in the Times Union, and the school Principal is already asking for more next year based on all the positive feedback he received from students, faculty, and parents.

This program is offered through our Workforce Development Coalition and has become a huge success.  We did 440 toolboxes with students grades 2 through 5 in various schools within just the last 6 months and are planning on an even bigger volume next year with all the momentum it’s gained.

Student Session at Curtis Lumber Builders’ Expo (3/21/23)

For the first time, Curtis Lumber involved students in our Builders’ Expo on March 21, 2023.  80 students from nine local schools participated in a special session beginning with a brief talk about “Why the Trades?” followed by testimonials from young professionals who shared their experiences working in the trades. Students then broke out into small groups for hands-on activities in designing a kitchen with 20/20 software, deck design using Luxwood software, drawing plans for a summer cottage with an architect, using various builder tech tools and applications in a technology workshop, or selecting products for design completion with vision boards.  Next they enjoyed lunch and free time to check out the Rockwool Insulation Scream Booth and the DeWalt Hands-On Tool Booth. This was followed by time on the Expo Showroom floor speaking with vendors about their latest and greatest products and collecting freebies.  The students stayed very engaged throughout all of the activities, and we were delighted with the positive feedback. A Ballston Spa teacher wrote, “I received so many thanks from my students for involving them in this field trip!”

Capital Region Workforce Development Coalition Lobbying at the New York State Capital

Members of the Capital Region Workforce Development Coalition spent Feb.14, 2023 meeting with several legislators at the capitol building lobbying on behalf of the trades. Our focus was on the immediate and long-term needs facing the building and construction industry. The Coalition started out with a focus on Saratoga County but has grown into a regional effort with a strong emphasis at the State level on Legislation to support our efforts. As an industry, we have a responsibility to educate our elected representatives about the trades and challenges that currently exist.

“College and Career Ready” day at Troy Middle School

Curtis Lumber took part in “College and Career Ready” day at Troy Middle School. Paige Songer was able to elaborate in detail about her role as a Kitchen & Bath Designer and how she came to be! These students have shown interest in the interior design field and we wanted to show them what is possible right in their backyard! Paige was able to show before and after’s of her work which amazed the students. A select 20 students stayed back to ask more detailed questions. At the very end the students expressed they would be interested in coming to Curtis Lumber and taking a tour! We greatly appreciate  Troy Middle School for having us!

Schuylerville Middle School Birdhouse Build

Curtis Lumber and members of the Workforce Development Coalition went to Schuylerville Middle School as the third stop on our birdhouse build adventure! These students were excited to get a hands on feel of building and a sense of community! We can’t wait to see all they build! Thank you, Schuylerville school district, for your participation in this community adventure.

Birdhouse Build (Ballston Spa & Burnt Hills Ballston Lake School Districts)

Curtis Lumber, Ballston Spa School District, Burnt Hills Ballston Lake School District, and the local community come together to build birdhouses for spring 2023!

Witt Construction, Inc. – Student Tours

Curtis Lumber recently paired up with the team from Witt Construction, Inc. and hosted students from 5 area schools to tour one of the Witt home builds currently under construction. The tour also ended with a walk-through of one of Witt’s gorgeous, finished homes! Students from Mechanicville, Stillwater, Greenwich, Waterford, and Warrensburg learned about the process of home building from start to finish, different building materials, installation methods and so much more. Thank you, President, John Witt for leading the tour and inspiring the students to consider a career choice in the trades!

“Women in the Trades” Shed Build

The first-ever “Women in the Trades” shed build in conjunction with the Saratoga Showcase of Homes in Wilton took place October 8, 2022. Girls from local high schools, including Greenwich Junior Senior High School, Schuylerville High School, Stillwater High School, Corinth High School, and Northville High School, were paired up with women project managers from local builders to construct a shed. The girls all jumped in and did an outstanding job and what a great way to introduce girls to a terrific career!

The 4′ x 8′ lean-to-sheds are available to bid at via an online auction and all proceeds will be donated to Rebuilding Together Saratoga County, Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, Warren & Washington Counties, and the Workforce Development Coalition. Click here take a look at the bidding process.

Great work by our Curtis Lumber team, Teakwood Builders, Inc., LeChase, Whitbeck Construction, Hoosick Valley Contractors, Inc., Witt Construction, Inc., DA Collins, Local 231 Carpenters Union, and local CTE/BOCES instructors for working together to put on this event highlighting the importance of exploring all options that are out there for our local students!

BOCES Student Tool Bag Presentations

Curtis Lumber and several of our workforce development partners presented Carhartt tool bags full of goodies to 250 WSWHE BOCES & Questar III BOCES students graduating in the trades. This gave the students a great “jump start” to their careers and generated a lot of good press for the trades!

THANK YOU to the following companies for your commitment to this program:
Belmonte Builders
Bennett Contracting, Inc.
Callanan Industries, Inc.
DeGraff-Bloom Custom Builders
D.A. Collins Family of Companies
Hoosick Valley Contractors, Inc.
Homes by Malta Development
Munter Enterprises
North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters
Otterbeck Builders Inc
Teakwood Builders, Inc.
Trojanski Builders
Turner Construction
Witt Construction, Inc.

We wish all the Questar III graduating students the BEST and MUCH success in their new fields!

Trades in the Schools

THANK YOU to Curtis Lumber employees, Tedi Adair and Taylor Thies and Scott Blair and Justin Konik! All of them were a HUGE hit leading 3rd & 4th grade students at Troy and Greenwich Schools through a class on assembling tool boxes. They work with the students on using a tape measure to apply their math skills, as well as how to use a hammer and screw driver in the assembly process. One teacher remarked, “it was the best thing the school has ever done for this grade level!”

THANK YOU also to Alex Angerami, Anthony Guidarelli, Curtis Lumber Business Development Manager, and Dave DePaulo, owner of Bella Home Builders for presenting to middle & high school students in several schools about careers in the trades. They outline the process of building a home and the many trades involved, the abundance of opportunities, salary potential, benefits, etc. to give them a good overview of what life in the trades has to offer.

Career Jam at Siena College

Curtis Lumber participated in Career Jam at Siena College; an event that provides hands-on experience and awareness about the trades to over 2,000 8th & 9th grade students. We brought our VR headset which provides an overview of Curtis career opportunities. Check out this link to view the video and see what they saw! We also brought PPE to show our safety culture, and they had fun trying on gloves and moving different pieces of lumber around.

Legislative Breakfast

As the labor shortage continues to be a major challenge in construction nationwide, our Workforce Development Coalition hosted a Legislative Breakfast on June 28th. The event was well attended with over 130 trades and business leaders coming together with seven local legislators. The legislators participated in a panel discussion focused on how to promote the construction trades. The event highlighted the need of working together to address this important industry issue and resulted in several next steps.

Howard Goff Middle School Curtis Lumber Career Day

In early April, the Ballston Spa Curtis Lumber hosted ten 8th grade students from Howard Goff Middle School for a Curtis Lumber Career Day. The students spent time in several departments depending on their career interests. If they we’re interested in Sales, they visit Estimating, Project Center and Kitchen & Bath Design. Those looking for OPS, visit the yard, dispatch/logistics and the door shop. The students were provided a valuable and interesting, hands-on experience and a glimpse into real life careers. This initiative has become one of our most popular offerings to the schools for career awareness.