Each year many students in Missouri have the opportunity to visit the
Missouri state capitol in Jefferson City. Last Wednesday, over 40 students from
Pike-Lincoln Technical Center’s Building Trades programs in Eolia and Troy paid
a unique visit to the roof of the capitol.
The students were invited by Mike Martin of Cannon General Contractors, Inc.
of Troy to visit their jobsite. The company is in the midst of doing work on a
$2.2 million project on both wings of the capitol made up largely of roof
renovation work but also includes masonry / tuck-pointing, and seismic bracing.
(The construction of the present capitol was completed in 1917 at a total cost
of $4 million.)
Upon arrival and an overview of the project from Mike Martin, the students,
their instructors, Marshall Suddarth and Gordon Downs, and Pike-Lincoln Tech
Center Director Krista Flowers donned their hardhats and safety glasses. In
groups of eight, they climbed scaffold over 120 feet tall adjacent to the north
side of the building.
While on the roof, Nick Martin pointed out to the visitors various aspects of
the project, showed work in progress and work nearly completed and answered
questions. Cannon’s superintendent on this project is Carroll Cannon of Bowling
Green. Both Mike Martin and Carroll Cannon are graduates of Pike-Lincoln Tech
As the group prepared to descend, a student pointed out two majestic Bald
Eagles soaring above the Capitol. Once back on the ground, everyone went inside
the capitol where they enjoyed a pizza lunch outside the office of Senator Wes
Shoemyer. After lunch, Senator Shoemyer spoke to the students briefly
emphasizing the importance of education. Representative Ed Schieffer and
Representative Terry Witte’s wife, Linda, also addressed the group stating their
strong support for education.
The House and Senate began a Veto Session at noon that day. Before the Troy
students had to leave they went into the visitor’s gallery (balcony) of the
Senate chambers as the senators were gathering. Once in session, Senator
Shoemyer asked his colleagues to welcome the students visiting from Pike-Lincoln
Tech Center in Eolia and their Director. The students stood in the visitor’s
gallery and received warm applause.
Senator Scott Rupp then stood and introduced Mike Martin, recognizing him as
the contractor handling the roof work in progress and for his valuable
contributions and years of service as an advisory committee member to both of
Pike-Lincoln’s Building Trades programs. He, too, received nice applause from
Mike Martin said “Cannon is a firm believer in “growing their own” employees
through mentoring students along the way. In recent years we have not hired from
any other source than graduates of Pike-Lincoln’s Building Trades program.
That’s the only way to hire future employees, in my opinion.”
Flowers stated “It was an excellent learning opportunity for our
(Pike-Lincoln Tech Center) students to observe such a project but also to meet
their elected officials and to see the Senate in session.” She went on to say,
“Having business partners, such as Cannon Builders, as mentors to our students
and advisors to our school is very important.”
This unique visit by Pike-Lincoln Tech Center students is currently featured
on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Career Education
webpage at http://www.dese.mo.gov/divcareered.