Members of INSTALL Philadelphia & Vicinity install baseboard at the new Allied Health High School. Pictured here are George Butrica, Sr. (foreground), Jack Boran (middle) and Richard Rivera (background).

Local floor covering professionals from INSTALL Philadelphia and Vicinity joined union carpenters and a host of other building trades recently in building the starter blocks for a career path for inner-city teenagers. In a project of the Crozer-Keystone Health System, Chester Upland School District’s Smedley Middle School is being renovated to house the Allied Health High School. This facility will host comprehensive training for inner-city youngsters interested in a healthcare career. The goal of the project is to create a pool of skilled local residents that can staff Crozer facilities.

Local flooring contractor Facility Services Group donated all of the flooring for the facility. INSTALL Philadelphia & Vicinity, part of the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters, provided hundreds of hours of manpower to install the flooring.

“This is an excellent opportunity to support the community,” said Charlie Wills, owner of Facility Services Group. “Our company benefits from well-trained flooring professionals from the INSTALL program, and I believe the community will likewise benefit from well-trained healthcare professionals from the Allied Health High School.” br />
Patrick McGinley, coordinator of the INSTALL Philadelphia program, added that putting his members to work on the project was a perfect way to conclude a busy summer for union flooring professionals. “We work across the region and into Delaware and Maryland, but we are happy to help provide a crucial learning institution for ambitious teenagers right in our own back yard.”

The Allied Health High School will train students in careers that include pediatrics, physical therapy, cardiology, sports medicine, emergency medical services, and more. The program is strikingly similar to the INSTALL training program: both require students or apprentices to train for four years via theoretical and hands-on, practical experiences. Both include on-the-job experience, and both mandate that these new professionals prove their skills via a certification exam.

“INSTALL flooring professionals don’t work on a job site until they prove their competence,” McGinley said, “and when we learned of the same high standards that this High School will mandate, we knew that our efforts to get it up and running will pay off for the community, much like our training pays off for building owners who have floors installed by our members.”