Learn, Teach, and Grow With The Construction Combine
By Sammy Rich
Last year, Idaho State University’s Continuing Education and Workforce Training (CEWT) partnered with Home Depot to create the Construction Combine-- a NFL-inspired, two-day event, where trainees work with local contractors to develop and learn new skills, while potentially finding a new job.
This year, the Construction Combine grew in size and scope. It expanded to other regions of the state to include Coeur D’alene, Lewiston, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls. Even Ontario, Ore. put on a Construction Combine.
This year’s Pocatello Construction Combine was held at Home Depot on Mar. 27-28, 2019 from 7AM to 5PM.
On the first day, over 87 participants showed up to looking to learn about framing, drywall, siding, flooring, roofing, concrete, plumbing and electric from area contractors.
On the second day, they braved morning rain and snow as they reconvened to build ten sheds. These sheds were then donated to local veterans.
The Construction Combine event presents a unique opportunity to highlight a collaborative partnership between Education, Home Depot, and the state of Idaho. It positively represents how communities, states, and corporations can work together to find local solutions to industry issues.
“We’re really excited to be involved in this,” Brad Landon, general manager of the Home Depot in Chubbuck, said. “Last year, we felt like it was a great opportunity for us to get out into the community, give back a little bit, and to see the youth of our community go into the trades and look for new careers as they come out of high school.”
Justin Downs with TD Building Concepts sees the Combine as an opportunity to highlight the importance of the trades. “I was involved with it last year, and it was a pleasant surprise how well it went and how much the kids enjoyed the opportunity to get their hands dirty and work with us professionals, and I’m excited to do it again this year,” he said.
As a collaborative effort between the community and local construction industry, the Construction Combine provides local contractors an opportunity to educate their community through hands-on training and outreach.
The Combine’s community-driven focus comes from several groups sharing a common goal: bettering the Pocatello community.
The Construction Combine planning team included representatives from Home Depot, School District 25, Idaho Department of Labor, Builders Association of Southeast Idaho, Idaho National Guard, Advantage Plus Credit Union, Shoshone/Bannock Hotel and Casino, McDonalds, Idaho State University Credit Union, REDI, AmeriTitle and other businesses that support the construction industry. Even members of Pocatello City Council joined in to help plan and spread the word about the Combine.
“The Combine will help to train and build the next generation of builders and it will be so important to what’s happening in our community,” Pocatello City Council’s Rick Cheatum said.
As the project coordinator for the Construction Combine, Scott Stephens is humbled by the amount of community support the Combine has received.
“Probably the main reason [why I’m excited about this] is just the amount of community support that we’ve gotten from so many different areas of our community. It’s an exciting thing. It’s an alignment of so many things that make our community better,” he said.
If you have any questions or need any additional information, visit constructioncombine.org or contact CEWT’s Scott Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org.