National Guard Provides Additional Support to the Construction Combine
December 22, 2022
The National Guard has been involved in the Construction Combine since its inception in 2018. Initially, the Guard's involvement was defined by their ability to provide power, in the form of large generators, for the combine. As the Construction Combine grew, so did the support of the National Guard.
The Construction Combine, an annual two-day event aimed at introducing basic construction skills to job seekers, 17 and over, began when Scott Stephens, ISU Continuing Education and Workforce Training’s Business Consultant, saw a need for skilled labor in the construction field. It was Stephens who first reached out to the National Guard for support. What began as a need for power has turned into a major point of support and collaboration.
The National Guard’s support has grown from supplying power to donating tools and a utility trailer to the Combine. This year the utility trailer, donated by the Guard, was upgraded at no cost to ISU. The trailer will house tools and equipment used by contractors and participants at the Construction Combine. The National Guard donated new tools this year as well.
“We are both honored and grateful to partner with Idaho State University," said Major Shawn Edwards, National Guard. "The Construction Combine provides the opportunity for Idaho Army National Guard Soldiers to work alongside Idaho youth, small businesses, and key community leaders who have similar interests toward achieving common interests and goals. The trailer is just a small part of our dedicated partnership to invest in Idaho youth.”
The Construction Combine has grown beyond Pocatello and ISU as other cities and organizations across the state and region have begun to host their own Combines. Home Depot, a major partner of the Construction Combine, hosts the event in Pocatello and in many other cities across the state. ISU’s partnership with the National Guard and Home Depot has been a big driver for the Combine’s ability to expand beyond Southeast Idaho and ISU. Home Depot locations across the state are able to host Combines and the National Guard delivers the needed utility trailer, generators, and tools.
The Combine serves as a skills training event with the goal of participants possibly landing a job in the construction trades after the event. Combine participants work alongside local construction industry leaders on the first day to learn construction skills including concrete, framing, drywall, flooring, roofing, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. Participants use these skills, on day two of the event, to build sheds that are then donated to local disabled veterans.
The Construction Combine is a collaborative effort between educational institutions, the local construction industry, and community leaders to develop a skills-based pipeline to help meet the growing demand for construction talent. it aims to give employment skills and networking opportunities to those interested in entering the construction workforce.
Those wanting to learn more about the Construction Combine or register for the event (spots are limited) are encouraged to visit constructioncombine.org.