Tuesday August 15, 2023
This summer, Dee Cramer partnered with a non-profit organization named the Heavy Metal Summer Experience (www.hmse.org) to host a camp for high school students to learn about the sheet metal trade. This non-profit was founded by a few folks from two of our peer group companies in Washington and California. In the summer of 2021, Hermanson (based out of Seattle) and Western Allied Mechanical (based out of southern California), each hosted a summer camp to promote the trades and give high school students a chance to gain hands on experience within our industry. Last year, HMSE became an established 501©3 non-profit and was able to lock in national sponsors to help contractors like Dee Cramer host successful summer camps. The camps have expanded to contractors across the U.S. and into Canada!
Dee Cramer was the first contractor to host two camps. We held one in our Saginaw Shop and one in our Wixom Shop. In total, we had 18 high schoolers attend. This camp was two days per week for 4 weeks. Each camp day had a different agenda. On the first day, Red Wings Boots came out and fitted each student for a pair of boots that they got to keep (courtesy of HMSE). They also received a DeWalt tool bag with brand new tools for them to keep as well. Students then went through orientation and ended their day by building a tool box.
The rest of our camp days consisted of a variety of projects that taught students the different areas within the sheet metal industry. We had a BIM day where students were able to see a 3D model of 4 duct runs running from one wall to another that intersected each other. We divided the students into teams and they each had to assemble their duct run according to the drawing while working around the other team's runs.
One of our camp days was a field trip to the local training centers. For our Saginaw students, we visited the Local 7 Zones 3/4 Training Center. For Wixom Camp, we went to the Local 80 training center. The Union Training Instructors explained how the apprenticeship program works, the pay throughout an apprenticeship, and the school class schedule.
The last day of camp was a graduation ceremony to celebrate the students' accomplishments over the course of camp. We invited students, parents, vendors, school representatives, and all of our volunteers to join us. We had a tremendous amount of support throughout our entire camp, especially from our vendors/sponsors! We could not have made our camps the success that it was without them.