CLINTON, Iowa – Fulton High School graduate Jerry Woods has received a once-in-a-lifetime honor after a 59-year career in the field of concrete.
Because of his dedication to the concrete and building trades industry, and his passion for teaching high school students that there is an alternative to college, the Iowa Ready Mixed Concrete Association (IRMCA) established a scholarship in his honor.
The scholarship announcement came after his December retirement from the IRMCA, humbling Woods for the honor, but also promising him that his message will continue after he leaves the concrete industry.
“When I saw it I couldn’t believe it,” Woods said. “This is the first time something like this has ever been offered, and it really encourages these kids that they can do anything they want.”
The 2-year, $2,500 scholarship is available to students beginning their first year of an Iowa community college or tech school trades program that provides training in concrete technology or practice. The ideal candidate exhibits focus and passion for learning, teaching and expanding the field of concrete construction, exemplifying Woods and his approach to the industry.
He hopes that by offering the scholarship, as well as high school programs exploring the concrete industry that he was essential in creating, students who may not be interested in education after high school will feel there is another option.
During his time with the IRMCA, Woods traveled all across Iowa implementing the “concrete curriculum,” a 10-day, 2-hour-per-day lesson plan teaching the fudementals of concrete technology within building trades and shop classes. Now, the concrete curriculum is offered in nearly 100 high schools throughout the state.
“I was doing it because some of these kids are not getting any kind of direction,” Woods said. “There are all kinds of opportunities, and the industry is trying to provide an avenue for those kids.”
It’s because of that continued dedication to the youth of Iowa that Woods is being honored with the scholarship, and why the IRMCA is “proud to cement [his] legacy of providing an opportunity to anyone willing to learn the concrete and building trades industry.”