Job Corps Graduates to Be Recognized at Builders’ Show
Two annual awards to Home Builders Institute Job Corps graduates will be presented at the upcoming International Builders’ Show in Orlando.
Franqee Higgins, 32, an electrical inspector working for the City of Wylie, Texas, is the winner of the NAHB President’s Award, in recognition of his ability to overcome adversity to achieve success in the home building industry.
Higgins graduated from HBI’s electrical program at the Guthrie Job Corps Center in 1998 and began working at several projects in the Dallas area, including the construction of American Airlines Center — home of the Dallas Mavericks — before starting out on his own. Adding a professional inspectors license to his Texas journeyman’s license, he opened his own business and today makes $70,000 a year working for Wylie.
Throughout his Job Corps training, he was a positive role model to other students and demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities.
“In the 20 years I have been teaching the electrical trade, Franqee is probably the most exceptional student I’ve ever trained,” said HBI electrical instructor Phillip Orr. “He was just a real pleasure to have in the classroom, always eager to learn, and the other students had a lot of respect for him. I’m very proud of what he accomplished in Job Corps and the man that he has become today.”
The award will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 8 at about 2:00 p.m. during the NAHB Board of Directors meeting in the Orange County Convention Center’s Valencia Ballroom.
Women Graduates Make Their Mark in the Home Building Industry
Sabrina Turner, 29, the winner of the Shirley McVay Wiseman Award for Exceptional Promise, came to the Golconda Job Corps in 1998 to make a better life for herself and her two daughters and has been determined to achieve professional success since she graduated in 1999.
At Golconda JCC, Turner excelled in John Gaddis’ electrical class and was active in extra-curricular Job Corps activities as captain of the softball team and a volunteer for the Special Olympics. She soon became a mentor to other students and served as a staff assistant. For her efforts, Turner was named the HBI Student of the Month, as well as the overall Student of the Month for Golconda’s Vocational Department.
After graduation, Turner started an electrical apprenticeship at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and became a journeyman electrician earning $33.75 an hour.
Working in the industry, Turner gained the confidence to go out on her own and in 2005 established Chicago-based Turner Installations. Enjoying early success, Turner was able to hire employees to work with her and is in the process of starting a branch of her company in Ohio.
“From the beginning, Sabrina excelled in her trade and from then on she rose to every challenge I presented her,” said HBI electrical instructor John Gaddis. “She has overcome many obstacles to achieve her goals and is most worthy of this award.”
The Shirley McVay Wiseman Award for Exceptional Promise is named after the former NAHB president and HBI trustee, who will present the award on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 8:30 a.m. at the NAHB’s Joint Executive, Budget and Resolutions Committee Meeting.
For more information on the awards or HBI’s Job Corps programs, e-mail Maria McIntyre at HBI, or call her at 800-795-7955 x8912.