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Marek's Partnership with Pasadena ISD's L.P. Card & Technical Center

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*Written by Elizabeth McPherson of

In March of 2013, Marek hosted a drywall installation clinic at Pasadena ISD's L.P. Card Career and Technical Center . The team from Marek which included Saied Alavi-Operations Manager, Terry Holcombe-Drywall Superintendent, Dave McMillan-Foreman, Buddy Britt-Training Coordinator, and Aurelio Flores-Head Coach gave a classroom presentation to the two dozen students in Pasadena, Texas and lead hem in a hands-on workshop.

Saied Alavi began provided a little background information about Marek Brothers Systems. He talked about the opportunities individuals coming out of high school can find at Marek, and the wage level and potential for career growth they could expect. He explained how those who stay with the company have opportunities to move up to become a supervisor, a foreman, or even a superintendent. It is up to each individual how far he or she can move up the company ladder. He stated: "We don't choose anyone by their height, by their size, by the color of their hair. It's all based on your work. It's an open race. Just as in track and field, when everybody lines up, it all depends on who runs the fastest. In Real Life it is the same way. If you want to improve, and you to advance, you work hard and you learn from your foreman. That's how you move up!"

It is also about safety. When Saied told the school director about the number of construction deaths that have occurred in Texas, she said "Don't say that to our students". But Saied explained that the reason there are so many accidents is that in some companies there is not enough discussion on safety. At Marek, IT'S ALL ABOUT SAFETY!

Saied then turned over the session to Terry Holcombe, Drywall Superintendent, who talked about working at Marek for 26 1/2 years. When he began working for the company, he noticed the guys who were more skilled than he was, and he said to himself, That's what I want to do! So he learned from others until one by one he could do what they could do. When he learned all he could from those beside him, he began to look up to the next level. He advised "You've got to set your goals. You've got to set them, and stick with them. Once I got to be the lead man, I worked to become the foreman. Eventually, with a lot of hard work, I became the foreman. Then I set my sights higher. I wanted to be the superintendent. I wanted to be over the guys working the job. Like Saied said, it's all for the team, but no one is going to put it on a silver platter for you."

The L.P. Card Career and Technical Center is a high school campus where approximately 350 jurors and seniors who are enrolled in certain careers and technical program (including construction technology) attend courses for half of each school day while remaining enrolled in classes at their home Pasadena ISD campuses for the other half of each day. A new Career and Technology High school is currently under construction which will allow approximately 1700 students in these programs to attend one school full time and for all four years. The regular curriculum there will be tied to the knowledge they will need i n construction, automotive technology, electrical trades, or whatever their focus of study will is. The new school is scheduled to open in August 2014.