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Strong Foundations | Summer 2019


A Message from Randall Redding

While we continue to pray for the safe keeping of those that endured Hurricane Dorian, it’s clear that the summer heat hasn’t left us yet. I hope you will enjoy this latest issue of RKR’s Strong Foundations newsletter.

Workforce development continues to be a top priority for the construction industry. The first article is about how it’s time for a shift in thinking in how to tackle the issue. As the state works to connect businesses in need with programs that train workforce, we need to look to change the way we think and encourage kids to consider opportunities outside of a traditional four-year college education.

We also interview Laura Boalch, who is the Technical College System of Georgia’s Deputy Commissioner for Economic Development. In addition to discussing with Laura what the colleges provide in terms of training in economic development, she shares programs to impact the industry’s workforce development initiative.

Thanks for your friendship and continued support.








Randall K. Redding
President & CEO

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Workforce Development

Over the past five years, the State of Georgia has focused efforts on economic development and has done a tremendous job of attracting industry to the state. Now, as we look to the future, questions arise about how we continue to maintain the same level of success. One of the challenges born from a strong economy is the continued lack of skilled workforce. We have heard this theme time and time again, specifically within the construction industry. But, as the Georgia economy booms, what is the state doing to connect its economic development efforts with its workforce development initiatives? And, more importantly, what can we do to change the perceptions and encourage today’s youth to explore careers in manufacturing, logistics, construction and other related trades?

[ Read Article ]

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Interview with Laura Boalch, Technical College System of Georgia

Laura Boalch is the Deputy Commissioner for Economic Development (ED). In this role, she works closely with the Economic Development divisions across 22 technical colleges to provide short-term, customized training for business and industry that is designed to fit those needs that fall outside the scope of traditional academic programs. Whether companies are seeking OSHA/workplace safety, computer skills, industrial maintenance training, or leadership/supervisory development, the colleges' ED divisions are equipped to meet their needs. They also offer continuing education and professional development opportunities for a variety of occupational areas.

[ Read Interview ]




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Strong Foundations | Fall 2018

A Message from Randall Redding

As the season changes, it brings a sense of renewal at RKR. Hopefully the brisk temperatures refresh you during the Holiday Season. I am excited to share the latest issue of the Strong Foundations newsletter.

In the first article, we spoke with West Georgia Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Jennifer Shunn. She’s made a tremendous impact on housing across the entire region. RKR is honored to work with this extremely worthwhile non-profit organization to help construct homes for those in need.

In a previous issue, we shared how workforce development was a focus for the construction industry, and it’s a topic that is still very relevant. In fact, I recently participated in an Atlanta Journal Constitution interview, along with the Associated General Contractors Association.

May you enjoy the Holidays filled with love, laughter and family.

Thanks for your friendship and continued support,








Randall K. Redding
President & CEO


Jennifer Shunn Executive …

Project Spotlight: Alexander High School Competition Gymnasium Unites Community

Alexander High School Principal Nathan Hand laughingly said recently that the school has been in need of a new gym for the past 20 years.

This is similar situation that many schools find themselves in these days. About 10 years after the school was first built, the areas growth had far surpassed all expectation. The school was built to handle 1,200 students, but that number has swelled to 1,700. While additional classrooms had been built, the gym still looked like it was built in the 1980’s… which it had.

“Our outdated and undersized gym was having a negative impact on the school,” said Hand. “Coaches where having to share offices, the various teams were crammed into one locker room, multiple physical education classes were being held at the same time and team practice were being held late at night or at different schools to accommodate everyone.”

Oftentimes, a school these days will have two or three gymnasiums to handle the increased need to field numerous men’s and women’s sports.

Laura Boalch, Technical College System of Georgia Q&A

Q: Please share with us your background and how you came to work at TCSG.

A: In the mid 1990’s, I began working in the Legislative Budget Office (LBO). In this role, we were charged with the development of the state budget for TCSG (then Department of Technical and Adult Education - DTAE) and various other agencies for the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia State Senate. At that time, admittedly, I knew very little about the Technical College System of Georgia as I had taken the more traditional route of attending the University of West Georgia to earn my BBA in Accounting. During my time at LBO, I had the opportunity to travel around the state visiting TCSG campuses. After talking with students, faculty, and staff at the colleges, I soon learned the purpose of what we do at TCSG and why we do it—to supply local business and industry with a skilled workforce. I was fascinated with the mission of the system and the passion of the faculty and staff. I quickly realized the s…

Strong Foundations | Summer 2018

A message from Randall Redding

The focus of this issue is on the construction industry, from a macro and micro perspective.

Our first article is about pricing in the construction industry, which includes strategies about when to lock in pricing, how to plan for escalation, what trades are at a premium, and more. The article provides insightful information for those who manage these projects.

We also spoke with Associated General Contractors of Georgia (AGC‐GA) CEO Mike Dunham. Having worked with AGC for almost 40 years, rest assured Mike has a lot to say about the construction industry and where it’s headed.

If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I would like to congratulate the RKR team for receiving the 2018 Excellence in Safety Award from AGC‐Georgia for the fourth year in a row. Even more outstanding is being awarded the 2018 National AGC Safety Award. This national award from AGC is significant, because it recognizes RKR for having zero incidents for at least the past three years.

I h…

Interview with Jennifer Shunn, Executive Director West Georgia Habitat for Humanity

RKR: Tell us a little about your background.

Jennifer: Prior to working with West Ga Habitat for Humanity, my work experience had always been in universities in either enrollment management or development. When my husband and I moved to Carrollton in 2000, I chose to do freelance consultant work to better control my schedule while being a full-time mom. When a position became available at West Ga Habitat, I realized that I had an opportunity to work for an organization where I could really embrace my faith and make a difference in people’s lives. The position with Habitat allowed me to utilize both my employment and life experiences and my education in psychology and public administration. Working for the organization has been a big blessing in my life.

RKR: What excites you about your role at Habitat and how have your responsibilities changed through the years?

Jennifer: For the first 15-20 years, the West Ga Habitat was completely run by volunteers. In 2005, I was hired through a c…