Savannah’s J.E. Dunn Construction Takes to Facebook to Inform High School Students About Careers in the Trades

Staff Report

Monday, July 27th, 2020

Savannah’s J.E. Dunn Construction is taking to Facebook this month as part of a series of social media events designed to teach students about careers in construction and the skilled trades. On July 28, J.E. Dunn Superintendent Laura Skellie will join the Construction Education Foundation of Georgia (CEFGA) in a Facebook Live discussion focused on “Building Your Talent Pipeline.” 
The session will be hosted by contractor and DIY TV host Kayleen McCabe with CEFGA President and CEO Scott Shelar. They’ll offer advice on:
  • Career opportunities in construction and the skilled trades

  • How young people can get themselves into the talent pipeline 

  • How companies can find talented workers

  • Opportunities for young women in the industry 


“There are so many opportunities for young people in Savannah to build a career in the skilled trades,” says Skellie. “Companies like J.E. Dunn are actively looking to hire young men and women to give them a start in the construction industry.” 

The goal of the CEFGA series is to educate students about career opportunities in the construction industry. It began June 16 and runs weekly on CEFGA’s Facebook page (, covering topics such as career options, trade schools, industry training, and truths and misconceptions about careers in the skilled trades. 

Host Kayleen McCabe is a contractor and host of “Rescue Renovation” on the DIY Network. CEFGA President and CEO Scott Shelar joins her each week as they speak with students, industry leaders and employers about their experiences and insights around the skilled trades. 

All sessions are free and open to anyone interested. The live sessions begin at Noon on CEFGA’s Facebook page each week. Past segments can be viewed at 

“Even during this pandemic, the construction industry is still strong. But for years, businesses have had trouble hiring trained workers, leading to a skilled labor gap in the U.S.,” says CEFGA’s Shelar. “These Facebook sessions are an opportunity for young people to hear from industry leaders about how we can close the skilled labor gap by giving them the information they need to enter the skilled trade workforce.” 

The current CEFGA Facebook Live schedule includes: 

  • July 14, FB, “Careers in the Skilled Trades: It’s Not What You Think!” Guests: Bob Bradley, Mechanical Contractors Assoc of Ga (Tucker); Jeff Rogers, Administrator for the Mechanical Trades Institute (MTI) 

  • July 21, FB, “How to Make Money While Attending College” Joe Jibreen (JE Dunn), Courtney Moser, Thompson High School Welding Teacher

  • July 28, FB, “Building Your Talent Pipeline” Guests: Theresa Schroder, Turner; Laura Skellie (J.E.  Dunn Savannah)

  • Aug. 4, FB, “Back to School” Guests: Chelle Travis, SkillsUSA

Job Placement
CEFGA continues to educate students on career options and is working to place students directly into jobs at leading construction companies. High school students interested in a career in construction can text “careerpath” to 31996 to receive a quick application. The CEFGA career placement team will follow up with the student for information on advanced training, apprenticeships, and even job placement. 
The organization will continue to work with teachers and guidance counselors through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. CEFGA is partially able to provide these services to Georgia’s students through the support and partnership with The Home Depot Foundation, The Marcus Foundation and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. The three organizations came together earlier this year to seed a $5.7 million, three-year grant to address the need for skilled workers in the construction trades.