February 2024

Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee

In JE Dunn’s Nashville office, a growing partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee that began in 2020 has blossomed into an ongoing volunteer effort that provides satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment multiple times throughout the year. 

JE Dunn employees support the Boys & Girls Club through various events, including holiday parties and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities. Once a year, during Women in Construction Week, female employees talk with the girls in the program about opportunities in construction. The company also participates in school supply-drives, filling, donating, and distributing more than 350 backpacks to students in the community since 2021. 

In addition, JE Dunn is one of a handful of companies that plans and executes the Boys & Girls Club’s Industry Club, designed to give young people an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at careers because “it’s hard to be what you can’t see.” Industry Clubs is an “exposure-ship” program that exposes teens to career possibilities and industries they may not otherwise consider. The experience includes shadowing industry professionals, having on-site experiences, and then developing a capstone project based off learnings over the five-week program. 

Teens participating in the JE Dunn Construction Club can tour a construction site to see real-life examples of the lessons they’ve learned in the program. For the capstone project, participants build walls from blueprints, including framing, drywalling, sanding, puttying, and painting them.  

Each week, JE Dunn’s professionals teach the students about different opportunities within the business, and this past year, they invited some trade partners to share with the teens.  

“This has been our landmark opportunity with the Boys & Girls Club right now,” said Tabitha Williams, a project administrator at JE Dunn Nashville. “We’re kind of learning and molding together on how we can improve it and make it the most valuable for the students involved.” 

The students are enjoying the opportunity, with several repeating the club as it entered its second year in 2023. JE Dunn Vice President Drew Emerson has been on the board of directors for Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee for three years. The personal interaction he’s had with the club has been gratifying, he said. 

“I’ve been to several of their clubs and seeing the work they do and how they celebrate youth, it’s a lot of fun,” Emerson said. “Seeing how they work and what all goes on, it’s such a cool organization and I’m thrilled that we partner with them.” 

At JE Dunn, working in the community is at the heart of the firm, and they don’t just talk the talk, Williams said.  

“We truly feel supported and that what we are doing is celebrated in the community and the impact we’re making is huge,” she said.  

“We’re very blessed because of the opportunities our communities give us to build things and to connect with clients and have a successful business because of the places we work,” Emerson said. “It’s our moral responsibility to give some of that back, and with the company recognizing it all, it’s just a really great place to be.”