Miller Valentine Helps Fourth Graders Build Connections to Future Career Paths
Miller-Valentine Construction first got involved with Adopt A Class in 2015 through a monetary donation to the nonprofit. Six years later, Miller Valentine is all-in on supporting the program.
“One of our core beliefs is to give back through education, and Adopt A Class provides unbelievable opportunities for us to do that,” said Mike Dektas, chief financial officer. “We have watched our Associates develop both personally and professionally through our work with Adopt A Class, and the impact you make on the community and the children is wonderful.”
Miller Valentine currently supports fourth-grade classrooms at Silverton Paideia Academy and has previously worked with Norwood View Elementary School. In addition, CEO Elizabeth Mangan sits on the Adopt A Class board.
This past year, Associates met with students virtually because of COVID-19. But in a typical year, 10 to 12 Associates visit their adopted classrooms each month. Hands-on sessions target different aspects of the construction process and pull in the skills the students are learning in school. For example, last year, we pulled together a set of plans and materials to build birdhouse-shaped banks. Students learned to read the plans, develop a budget, and construct and decorate the banks. During every meeting, Associates work hard to help students make connections between their interests and potential career paths.
“Naturally we talk about the skills that are needed to build a building, but we take it a step further,” said Angie Gill, vice president of real estate investments. “We also discuss careers in the industry that use different skillsets. For example, students who enjoy working with numbers could go into the finance field. Or if they like art, they might want to consider careers in marketing, graphic design, and even architecture.”
In addition to classroom sessions, we take students on field trips. Past trips included tours of local construction sites and Miller Valentine’s office in Cincinnati. Our team also uses videos and video chats with construction personnel to bring the job site to the students.
The overall time commitment is minimal, but the ability to help students see the opportunities for their future is priceless.
“These children are our future, and we as professionals have a chance and an obligation to help them see the many career paths that are available to them,” said Gill. “When you enjoy what you do and the company that you work for, and you see the kids get interested in and excited about their potential careers, it’s an amazing thing.”
For more information on how your organization can support Adopt A Class, contact Adopt a Class Executive Director Sonya Fultz at 513-448-4137.