Valley Asphalt recently hosted a high school teacher externship that proved to be very successful within our operations. There were 4 teachers across different organizations included in the pilot Teacher Externship Program organized by SCOKI (Supply Chain OKI). The goal of the 2nd year of the program is 20 participants and Valley Asphalt plans to participate again. We hope to grow this opportunity within various divisions in our company and potentially provide multiple teachers with this externship experience. We were lucky to have Brady Faust join us this summer for the pilot. Brady was with us the weeks of July 18, 2021 and July 25, 2021. He shadowed Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of both weeks on day shift. The busyness of the season had a slight impact limiting what he could experience and who was available to discuss their role in the company with him. However, we showed him as much as possible and believe he got to witness what we have to offer on a high level. If he would ever want come back to learn more, we would be glad to have him. Opportunities like these are too important to pass up!

Brady is a Career Counselor at Oak Hills High School. After talking with him extensively over the course of the externship, Brady explained how Oak Hills High School has been looking at the students and found that many could thrive and find more success without a college or university experience. They created a career counselor position for him to pursue this full time; helping students find the right path after high school. We were taken aback by his passion to understand not only the construction and mining industries, but any industry that could provide these students with clear paths to success.

We mainly visited aggregate facilities during the externship with Brady, but also introduced him to GCAT (Greater Cincinnati Asphalt Terminal) in North Bend, OH, and asphalt testing in the main lab at Valley Asphalt in Sharonville. He was able to go out with a new technician every day to different locations to hear different perspectives. We feel that hearing the perspectives of technicians and well-versed employees gave Brady the most accurate picture of an employee within our company. At our facilities, we put a strong emphasis on the need for all trades so Brady witnessed many jobs at each facility during the externship. He witnessed the aggregate technicians’ tasks and test methods the most but was also given a breakdown of the daily life of an asphalt technician. We made it evident that students could come out of school with very little experience and find success at our company with proper training and acquiring knowledge through the certification process.

It became clear to Brady as the externship progressed that there is a wide range of talents needed in our industry from the hands on mechanically-minded ground personnel that work outdoors to a person who works at a desk in the office, to lab personnel that find success in an indoor workplace. Hearing his story and how he is pursuing his passion in education is very inspiring and exciting. Establishing relationships like these as a result of an externship have an incredible impact on the recruiting process and help us network to audiences interested in what we do. It was very moving to know he is going out of his way to learn these industries and to assure his students have a path regardless of their strengths and weaknesses. We are so grateful for the opportunity to help Brady, and wish him the best of luck in his career.