On April 20-21, 2022, the College of Eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls, Idaho, hosted its inaugural Construction Combine. The event was set up to familiarize students and young adults with tools and expose them to careers in the skilled trades while providing local contractors with a recruitment opportunity and the chance to give back to the community.
Valley Lumber & Rental, Victor, Idaho, which provides lumber and hardware services alongside equipment rentals ranging from excavation machinery to handheld power tools, was among the marquee sponsors of the event.
“We like supporting the local community as a local business and want to inspire young people to get involved in this industry,” says Susan Fuller, Valley Lumber & Rental office manager. “Many high school graduates who might not be interested in a college degree, need income immediately and have no access to skilled trade education could benefit from more events like the Combine. We really wanted to be a part of something that brought contractors, builders, suppliers and the college together.”
Construction Combine activities included a safety meeting, various stations that focused on specific trade skills, including plumbing, electric, roofing, framing, drywall and flooring, and the construction of sheds that, once completed, were donated to local veterans.
Fuller says that her organization, which also donated materials for the event, was happy to be part of the shed dedication festivities on the day and feels the area’s first Construction Combine achieved its goal.
“Our contractor sales manager and I attended the shed donation ceremony where we and other sponsors were publicly thanked for our contributions to the Combine. It was rewarding to see the veterans’ appreciation for the sheds as well as the enthusiasm of the young people who learned how to build them. Many of us involved felt it was a great success. We will certainly be involved in this event in the future,” she says.