IT’S ALWAYS NICE nice for various Tucker Paving employees to get out in the community and engage in activities — usually fun ones — that benefit worthy institutions and organizations. One such activity — yes, it was a fun one — was a sporting clays “shootout” on Sept. 22, at Catfish Creek Sporting Clays off Firetower Road in Haines City. One such worthy beneficiary organization — one near and dear to our construction hearts here at Tucker Paving — was the ACE Mentor Program of Polk County. ACE is short for Architecture • Construction • Engineering.

As mentioned briefly on our Facebook site (, ACE’s mission is to engage high school students to pursue careers in the integrated construction industry through mentoring. Polk County ACE is one of nine Florida chapters of the national ACE Mentor Program of America ( As the ACE of Polk County website tells it:

“High school students in Polk County area can now benefit from a nationwide program designed to introduce them to the wide range of career opportunities open to young people in architecture, construction, engineering, and related areas of the building design and construction industry.

“At weekly meetings, student teams work directly with professionals from leading area firms, who volunteer their time to mentor the teams as they design hypothetical projects, tour local construction sites, and visit architectural, engineering, and construction offices.

“For students, it’s a unique chance to discover and develop new skills, solidify future goals and get on track to exciting, rewarding careers. In addition, many students form positive relationships with industry professionals who can provide important references for obtaining college admissions, scholarships, internships, and full-time employment.”

The ACE Mentor Program of Polk County is always open to assistance, sponsorship, and general support from individuals and other businesses in the area. Key program contacts are Jennifer Hall, vice president of SEMCO Construction, Inc. (phone 863-533-7193), and Brian Brogan, field operations manager for Southeastern Construction and Maintenance, Inc. (phone 863-428-1511, ext. 249).

To learn more about ACE of Polk County, visit its website here.