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Gateway to Great Careers Bulldozes onto 4th Tour

Updated: Jan 25

Charles Webber and Christopher Grant of Thompson Engineering

Sted McCollough and Jackie Strickland of McCollough Architecture

Mitch Pate and Justin Paul of Stuart Construction

Dr. Josh Duplantis of Coastal Alabama Community College

Ginna Barnas of Island Air

Keith Mahone of SoCo Roofing & Restoration

Clay McInnis of McInnis Construction

Gateway to Great Careers hosted the fourth of eight industry tours with Gulf Shores High School. Each month for the 2023-2024 school year, a maximum of 30 students and teachers hop on a bus and tour a specific industry. For the month of November, Hospitality and Tourism was the focus. We pushed the December tour into the new year because GULF SHORES HIGH SCHOOL WON THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE! A big congratulations to Gulf Shores’ football team. Last week we reconvened and held the fourth tour in the industries of Construction and Engineering.

The day started at Thompson Engineering where the students learned about the different careers of engineers and local projects of the company. We then walked across the street to McCollough Architecture and the students were able to understand how the engineers set the scene for architectural projects and were also shown the creative design process from start to finish. The McCollough firm designed and has been working with The Wharf on the Portside construction project, which was our third stop. Stuart Construction is executing the project and was on site to talk to the students about the many construction jobs that carry out the design. 

Many thanks to Springhill Suites at The Wharf for providing their large meeting room for some guest speakers. Coastal Alabama Community College spoke of their building maintenance program and apprenticeship opportunities, Island Air spoke on their growth as a business and how important it is to have soft skills in the workplace. SoCo Roofing & Restoration spoke about how roofing companies aren’t just supported from our storm prone location and gave the students wonderful motivation, and lastly McInnis Construction spoke on their focus in building bridges all over the state, which led to many questions from the students. 

We ended our day at Rivera Utilities in Foley, who kindly provided lunch for the students. During lunch we had a few of their engineers talk about the variety of mapping technologies used to make their five areas of utilities operate, learning about the “Journey of a Work Order” from the paper to powering communities. We got a behind the scenes tour of their substation and state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant, the first of its kind in the United States.

The students who signed up and were selected for this tour were mostly juniors and seniors within the school’s engineering and construction classes. Gateway is grateful for our partnership with the teachers and CTE director at Gulf Shores High School. Thank you so much to the business owners who worked with us and are so passionate about the future of their industry with our next generation!

Tony Schachle of Rivera Utilities

Scott Sligh of Rivera Utilities

Chris Clark of Rivera Utilities


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