The Indiana FFA Leadership Center near Trafalgar was a beehive of activity when paving crews and dozens of FFA members showed up on a pleasant fall day. Before the day ended, many driveways and pathways were paved at the center, and about 150 students had a much better idea about potential career opportunities in the asphalt industry.
“We have a great partnership with the Asphalt Pavement Association of Indiana,” says Lisa Chaudion, executive director of the Indiana FFA Foundation. “They need future workers, and they like the work ethic of many students in vo-ag programs and FFA chapters. The leadership center has many drives and pathways which need improvement. They pave while educating students at the same time. It’s a win-win situation for both parties.”
The event this fall was the second paving day at the center. The first was held May 2, 2018. The parking lot at the center was paved during that event, while more than 200 students learned about the asphalt industry firsthand, Chaudion says. Students had the opportunity to visit a mini career fair and hear from human resource specialists and other leaders within the asphalt industry.
APAI is made up of member-companies that do paving work within the state. Members include some of the largest asphalt paving companies in the industry. During the paving events at the FFA center, various members volunteer equipment and personnel to complete paving. Asphalt for the parking lot also was donated by the group.
2nd paving day
The goal this fall was to pave the driveway to cabins and the Fellowship Hall at the FFA center, starting at the Fellowship Hall, the farthest building back at the center, and coming forward to the newest structure, a recreation and storage building built in 2018.
Joe Ramey, FFA center director, says turnoffs and pathways to various cabins and facilities were also paved. The value of the paving being completed free of charge by APAI at each of the two events is about $75,000. In addition, the center contracted the group to pave some additional pathways.
Students attending the 2019 paving day could also interact with asphalt industry professionals from various companies. They learned about career opportunities within the asphalt paving industry.
“It’s a win for both groups,” Ramey says. “We needed improvements, and ag students learn about potential job opportunities which many of them probably hadn’t considered before.”