Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

Woodville-Tompkins Welding Teacher Receives Construction Ready Teacher Impact Award

Published on: 10/24/2023

Welding Teacher Barry Kennedy of Woodville-Tompkins Technical and Career High School, has been awarded the Teacher Impact Award from Construction Ready, a Georgia nonprofit focused on educating young people about careers in the skilled trades. The award recognizes Barry Kennedy's efforts to educate Woodville-Tompkins students in the skilled trades and career opportunities in the industry.

The Teacher Impact Award program recognizes the front-line contributions by teachers and Career Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) stakeholders who are preparing the workforce of tomorrow. It rewards them appropriately for their efforts that contribute to workforce development and connecting students to productive career paths.

“Instructors at schools such as Woodville-Tompkins Technical and Career High School are on the front lines of workforce development in an industry vital to Georgia's economy," says Scott Shelar, Construction Ready's president and CEO. “As fewer young people enter the skilled trades, it's vital that we work to close the workforce skills gap." Shelar notes that the lack of skilled workers is a serious problem in Georgia, with a shortage this year of more than 160,000 workers.

“Thank you for acknowledging the diligence of our students and how they maximized the opportunity that is provided for them at Woodville Tompkins Welding Program," says Kennedy. “It is most definitely a collaborative effort here at Woodville Tompkins including our Administrator, Mr. Alfred Mcguire, our Work Based Learning Coordinator, Jeffery Robinson, and our CTAE Department Executive Director Dr. Angie Lewis and Director Amy Perry.

About the Teacher Impact Award

The Teacher Impact Award started in 2019 as part of a legacy project in collaboration between The Home Depot Foundation, The Marcus Foundation, The Arthur M Blank Foundation, the GA Department of Education, and construction companies looking to make a difference and become part of the solution.  Since then, Construction Ready has delivered more than $1.2M in awards to Georgia educators.    

The award is given to current construction, metals and drafting teachers based upon ratings conducted and obtained by Construction Ready in the following areas of focus: Industry Certification of Programs, Industry Awareness, Industry Credentialing, and Industry Career Path Placement.

  • ​Industry Certification: Achieving program industry certification (initial or recertification),  maintaining Industry Certification standards, authentic and active Advisory Board engagement.
  • Industry Credentialing: Program actively delivers industry-recognized credentials to students such as National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) - Core and Level 1,  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-HR, American Welding Society (AWS),  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), American Ladder Institute, AutoCAD, Revit, and Virtual Design Construction (VDC).
  • Industry Awareness: Volume of students participating in career-related activities such as project site  tours, guest speakers, Career Visits, SkillsChallenges, industry visits to programs, and the  Construction Ready CareerExpo/SkillsUSA State Championships, and program pathway retention as documented and verified by program reports and event registration.
  • Industry Career Path Placement: Full-Time employment in the construction industry for program  graduates; Technical College placement in construction programs for graduates; Apprenticeship  placement in construction programs for graduates; Placement in other post-secondary construction  training programs for graduates; Internship and part-time work experiences for undergraduates as  reported by programs and verified by Construction Ready with employers and/or training providers.

     About Construction Ready
     Construction Ready helps school districts bring an advanced version of what most knew as shop class back to schools. It supports more than 200 existing programs in schools and helps school districts create new programs. Construction Ready has been able to use a combination of contributions to help fight for and deliver $19.1M in leveraged dollars to the front lines of hands-on education since 2018. 
  • Pre-Apprenticeship Classes - Across Georgia and new in Jacksonville, FL, Construction Ready offers a 20-day construction education program that ends with training, credentialing and job placement
  • Career Expo - An annual CareerExpo & SkillsUSA State Championships event at the Georgia World Congress Center connects thousands of Georgia K-12 and college students with professionals in the skilled trades. 2024 dates are February 22nd-23rd.

    Construction Ready works with high school students, parents, employers, teachers, counselors, and partners to strengthen the youth workforce and address the immediate needs of the skilled labor market. The nonprofit was created almost 30 years ago and works to close the skilled workforce gap that is impacting the industry nationwide. Those interested in being a part of Construction Ready can be a part of its K12 programs, Little Builders, CareerExpo, and adult training programs. More information is available at

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