S. M. Wilson’s SKILLED Program Offers Virtual Aid to Community

For decades S. M. Wilson has proudly built education facilities, and our work has had a tremendous impact on our community. In addition to supporting individual student interest, we strive to support the serious needs of our industry to promote career paths in the trades and provide access to those careers.

As we began to see the effects the pandemic was having on our clients, specifically, those working in education, S. M. Wilson quickly reached out to Owners and organizations to determine the best way to offer support. With students, teachers and parents having to rapidly transition to online learning, many felt overwhelmed with limited information and how to present it to students of varying age levels.

At the onset of COVID, S. M. Wilson’s construction career education program, SKILLEDTM, began developing an online learning curriculum. Wilsonites came together to develop virtual aids such as at-home STEAM activities, online project presentations, videos on construction career information, construction storytimes and more to continue to bring construction career education to the classroom.

At the beginning of April, Director of Project Development, Jim Hoette, discussed the ins and outs of a construction project with 30 engineering students from the School District of Clayton over video conferencing.

Clayton High School Engineering Teacher, Steve Beauchamp says, “I wanted to give a quick shout out and a huge thank you to S. M. Wilson’s SKILLED program for meeting virtually with our engineering students. We appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedules to give exposure to all the engineering and problem solving that goes into construction. We thank you so much for your time, for your effort and for your dedication to education.”

Through these virtual project presentations, S. M. Wilson is able to provide first-hand experiences in a flexible environment to demonstrate and discuss different aspects of the A/E/C industry.

The materials can also be incorporated into existing curriculums, support school programs and continue to better meet the needs of more PreK–12 students interested in the construction industry. PreK teacher at Kirkwood Early Childhood Center, Monica Ealy, began using the storytime videos and STEAM activities over the summer.

Monica says, “It can be particularly challenging to teach four and five-year-olds online, especially when many of their parents have full-time jobs. The lesson plans are easy to follow and engaging for students and have been a great resource for us.”

The free educator resources can also be used in person as Districts slowly transition back to school. Monica says, “With safety precautions in place, some of the younger students are back at school in person a few days a week. The videos and accompanying activities have been great for students as they are interactive and educational while still fitting into all of the safety guidelines we are using in the classroom.”

Outside the classroom, S. M. Wilson has also begun sharing SKILLED’s new resources with organizations such as the St. Louis County Library, Ready Readers and Cardinal Glennon.

Director of Client Development, Kristyn Newbern, says, “With this addition to our SKILLED programming, we can contribute quality educational content for virtual and in-person learning environments.”

To access SKILLED’s virtual resources, visit To learn more about the program, visit


St. Louis, Mo., September 15, 2020 – S. M. Wilson & Co. is rolling out a virtual learning curriculum via construction career education program, SKILLED™.

Due to education’s transition to virtual learning, S. M. Wilson’s SKILLED has developed online resources for teachers, parents, students and other organizations to continue to provide opportunities to integrate academic learning and focus on future employment in the A/E/C industry.


S. M. Wilson Introduces SKILLED to Address Labor Shortage

In August 2019, the AGC reported: “eighty percent of construction firms are having a hard time filling hourly craft positions that represent the bulk of the construction workforce.”

As labor shortages continue, S. M. Wilson set out to create a program to address the need for more well-trained, qualified workers. For decades, we have proudly built education facilities and our work has had a tremendous impact on the community. Project teams have presented to classes, hosted project tours and organized activities to engage student interest in the construction industry. In addition to supporting individual student interest, we strive to support the serious needs of our industry to promote career paths in the trades and provide access to those careers.

This year, S. M. Wilson has formalized these efforts and rolled them into our existing career development initiatives to form SKILLED, with the mission to Inspire the Future of Construction. 

“A decline in qualified craft workers sparked S. M. Wilson to create a program that would impact our industry in a positive way. SKILLED brings construction into the classroom and beyond by providing the foundational knowledge and skills for a successful career in the A/E/C industry,” says S. M. Wilson President, Amy Berg.

The three-pronged program supports individuals from all experience levels, from pre-k students to workforce professionals, to Discover, Develop and Elevate their skills in the construction industry.

The Discover portion of the program is already underway at S. M. Wilson’s Hallsville Primary School addition and renovation project in Hallsville, MO. The project team introduced students from the high school’s Ag Construction class to real-world applications of a construction project through site tours and trailer talks. The latest installment of the program allowed students to suit up in PPE and view the current state of their Primary School which included crane operations and steel erection of the prefabricated building structure.

“Students enjoyed touring the jobsite and seeing a variety of different trade skills taking place. We are excited to continue this program with S. M. Wilson throughout the school year. Thanks to S. M. Wilson for this educational opportunity, it is really appreciated,” said Caleb Martin, Teacher and Advisor at Hallsville R-IV Schools.

Seeing the physical job completed in real-time with the guidance of the S. M. Wilson project team will give students the unparalleled introduction to what their future in construction might entail. Future plans with the District include construction career presentations and STEAM construction activities for middle and primary school students are underway.

Amy Berg explains, “We are excited to kick off SKILLED with the Hallsville R-IV School District and look forward to continuing our efforts to provide students with the framework and a strong foundation for a future career in construction.”

The Develop and Elevate portions of the program focus on high school, secondary students and beyond. As part the Develop phase, S. M. Wilson offers career-ready internships, career training and mentorship. Led by the company’s Collegiate Development Committee, students interested in working in the construction industry experience hands-on training opportunities, mentoring and networking to benefit their personal and professional development.

The Elevate phase supports the internal professional growth of employees through continued job training, team building, development programs, leadership and advancement opportunities. Knowing that our employees are our greatest asset, S. M. Wilson strives to provide a strong foundation and resourceful company culture by emphasizing growth and encouraging professional development. A few benefits offered include tuition reimbursement, a leadership program, career paths rotation program and Wilson Women.

To learn more about SKILLED, visit