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Partners in Education: Frank Schipper Construction Focused on Community Building

The company has become a valuable tool in expanding educational outreach to local schools

[Noozhawk’s note: The Santa Barbara Partners in Education relies on its President’s Council to help expand participation opportunities in our schools. As a proud member of the President’s Council, Noozhawk is helping to promote the organization with a series of features on our fellow members and their commitment — as businesses — to public education. We hope you’ll consider joining us on the council. One in a series.]

Frank Schipper Construction Co. goes by the motto “quality without compromise,” an attribute exuded in its many recognized projects, including Eucalyptus Lane, the Glen Annie Clubhouse, Moby Dick’s Restaurant, Santa Barbara Junior High School and the elephant exhibit at the Santa Barbara Zoo.

The company is also responsible for the $15 million, 12,425-square-foot building remodel and
 2.3 acres of site improvements at Hahn Hall, for the Music Academy of the West. Its work garnered the company the 2008 SBCCA Builder of the Year award and the 2009 President’s Award from Santa Barbara Beautiful.

In addition to Hahn Hall, Frank Schipper Construction took on the four-year, four-phase seismic remodel of the oldest continuing theater in California — the Lobero Theatre. During summers, eight weeks of construction took place while scheduled performances were on hiatus. The company received the Santa Barbara Contractors Association 1998 Builder of the Year and Best Commercial Remodel Contractor.

La Cumbre Savings Bank received a seismic and architectural remodel of the nearly 10,000-square-foot ground floor of a six-story building. The contract, valued at more than $1 million, resulted in a final product that was recognized with the Outstanding Commercial Remodel Project award from the Building Industry Association and the Award for Excellence in the Design and Usage of Architectural Woodwork from the Woodwork Institute Council.

President/CEO Frank Schipper founded the company more than 25 years ago. Despite his impressive resume in the construction business, he’s been quietly building much more than impressive structures in Santa Barbara. He has been building the community.

Schipper is helping grow the profession by nourishing young adults’ curiosity about construction, and his educational outreach is not limited to construction. The company has been involved with schools in the community through various programs, including Santa Barbara Partners in Education. For the past 20 years, he has been involved with Career Technical Education (vocational) training.

As president of the Associated General Contractors of California in 2001, he started the California Education Foundation. Soon after, he became instrumental in establishing the Tradart Foundation in Santa Barbara, a nonprofit corporation devoted to the advancement of career technical education with an emphasis on industry standards.

He currently serves as a liaison with Tradart and the Santa Barbara Contractors Association, through which they established the “Tools for Schools” program, which enables shop teachers to better perform and teach their classes.

Then, about seven or eight years ago, Peter McDougal asked Schipper to serve on the Partners in Education board.

“I enjoy serving on a board that worries about education and does so much good, such as Computers for Families and now the intern programs,” Schipper said. “At Partners, I am the voice for the student that may not wish to go to college.”

He’s involved with the intern programs and serves on the Career Technical Education Committee.

“As a business in Santa Barbara, it is important for us to help secure a dependable and great future work force,” Schipper said.

For the past 10 years, Frank Schipper Construction has awarded the Marvin Melvin award to the top CTE teacher in Santa Barbara County. The company is actively involved with all career days, has provided speakers to Partners in Education upon request, and has hired interns.

Schipper has spoken to classes of students at Dos Pueblos and Santa Barbara high schools, in addition to Ellwood Elementary, SBCC and other schools.

As a team, the company has participated in career days at several schools, and it has invited shop classes to visit construction sites.

Not only has the company had the satisfaction of being involved in the community, but Schipper says it has networked with many quality people in the community. He encourages people to get involved with Partners in Education.

“It’s great for morale in the company, civic involvement, and you are doing a great amount of good for students,” Schipper said.

Any company has the opportunity to participate in Partners in Education, but the President’s Council is limited to no more than 25. Click here for more information about Partners in Education. Click here for more information on how to become a President’s Council member or contact Michelle Magnuson, development and membership director, at 805.964.4710 x4417 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

In addition to Frank Schipper Construction Co., current President’s Council members are ABC-CLIO, American Riviera Bank, AT&T Foundation, ATK Space Systems, Bacara Resort & Spa, Coastal Management Resources, Community West Bank, Cottage Health System, Cox Communications, Earl Warren Showgrounds, ExxonMobil, MedBridge Development, Montecito Bank & Trust, Noozhawk, QAD, Rabobank, Raytheon, Santa Barbara Axxess, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Santa Barbara Catering Co., Maryan and Richard Schall, Southern California Edison, Venoco Inc. and Verizon.

Noozhawk intern Lindsey Weintraub will be a sophomore at the University of San Diego in the fall. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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