Des Moines Lincoln HS commended for LiUNA partnership
Posted On: Sep 12, 2017
(left to right) LiUNA 177 volunteer Tom Prymek, Lincoln High Teacher Scott McClelland, Lincoln High Vice-Principal Adam Beckle, Principal Paul Williamson, Lynn Pickard, Iowa LiUNA Training Fund.
Connecting high school students with careers is no easy task, particularly with the emphasis on college attendance. On September 11, 2017, Des Moines Lincoln High School teacher Scott McClelland was honored as an outstanding educator with the school’s “Golden Spike” award.
For the past seven years, Iowa Laborers, the Iowa Laborers Training Fund and Iowa LECET (Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust) have worked with McClelland to establish an Introduction to the Construction Trades class. The class now has two stages, an introductory class and a second level, full-year Construction II.
“This is an outstanding program for Iowa LECET,” said Iowa LECET director Dan Prymek. “Not only does it introduce the construction trades to high school students, it has also resulted in students entering union craft apprenticeship programs. It’s a unique partnership with Lincoln High, and it could never have happened without instructor Scott McClelland.
“It’s obvious when you enter the classroom that Scott really cares,” Prymek continued. “He takes a real personal interest in his students and pushes them to excel. He well knows the opportunities that a craft apprenticeship can open for young people.”
The students follow a LiUNA curriculum, first learning basic safety and job skills. They also learn labor history and how unions operate. Finally, they complete a hands-on project on the school grounds.
“The students really shine when the hands-on activities happen,” added Prymek. “When Lincoln High students see their fellow students in hard hats and boots, forming and puddling concrete on campus, signaling crane operators, the participating students really beam with pride.”
LiUNA Local 177 retirees assist with the class, acting as mentors and sharing their construction skills with the students. Iowa LiUNA Training visits the classroom regularly to check on the program, insure supplies and opportunities are made, and works with the students.
“This is a well-deserved honor for Scott,” concluded Prymek. “He’s a first class, caring teacher who really goes all out for his students. This unique partnership would never have happened without him, and Iowa Laborers are proud to call him a friend.”