Work on Nederland High shines light on contractors’ needs. Well-paying jobs available locally.

Published 2:19 pm Wednesday, May 3, 2023

NEDERLAND — Standing in front of the future Nederland High School, Thomas Neild noted an area to the left that is not yet developed.

That spot will house the school’s career and technical education wing, where students will be able to work on a trade and gain a certification in a number of career fields.

Neild, president of H.B. Neild & Sons, is contractor for the construction of the near-300,000 square feet school.

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Nederland Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Stuart Kieschnick, along with Brian Turmail, the national spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of America; Neild; and Alysha Hill of Workforce Solutions of Southeast Texas toured the facility Wednesday.

Kieschnick said the district focuses on all career fields; though the construction field is, and will be, busy for the next 10 to 20 years.

“The job market is going to be for individuals coming out of high school and coming out of college looking for a good-paying job,” Kieschnick said. “We understand that and we’re trying to beef up our career and technology programs as much as possible to provide opportunities for those kids. And basically, whatever path they chose to take.”
Kieschnick said he wouldn’t be surprised to see this year’s graduates working on the high school worksite by June or July.

NISD offers welding certifications, pipefitting certifications, electrical certifications, auto mechanic certifications, health occupation certifications and some office certifications such as Microsoft.

Voters approved the bonds to construct the new school in 2019. COVID caused issues with the supply chain.

The high school is set to be completed in February 2024 and open in August 2024.

Neild introduced Caleb Gay, a recent graduate who is now in the construction field.

The point, he said, is well-paying jobs are available and local people can be recruited for the work. Construction is one of the nation’s fastest job markets in the nation, and it is also a field in need of workers.

Daniel Gillis, superintendent with Newtron Electrical services, said the company is in charge of the electrical portion of the project. They are also in charge of two other schools as well as other businesses in the area.

He said Newtron works with students straight out of high school with their union apprenticeship.

“I feel we’re getting a lot better quality of people coming in because they’re doing a good job training for these kids,” Gillis said. “They don’t come in knowing everything of course, and that’s my job and the other journeyman I have working for me — training these young men and women to the point where hopefully they’re taking my job.”