Tim Mosley attributes his successful construction career to a solid work ethic, the desire to learn and timely advice from his uncle. Now, as Haskell’s Senior Manager of Field Personnel, Mosley is working to give high school students in his native Clay County, Florida, the same solid start.
Mosley traces his construction career back to his uncle’s farm in Tennessee. The Clay County native spent his summers with his uncle as a youngster. Mosley will never forget this advice.
“Go find a trade and then go pursue your career,” his uncle told him.
As a freshman at Orange Park High School, Mosley signed up for two construction electives – carpentry and electrical. As fate would have it, he was assigned to the carpentry unit and immediately found his calling.
Clay County has had an extensive trades program for more than 50 years. Mosley acquired practical knowledge building portable classrooms that were used throughout the county. He got a job as a framer while still in high school, so he would attend English and math classes in the morning and frame buildings in the afternoon.
His mentor was high school instructor Hervey Robinson, who saw Mosley’s potential and interest in carpentry and allowed him to take advanced courses while still a freshman. Because he fulfilled the three-year carpentry program at the end of his junior year, he learned welding skills as a senior.
Each year, Robinson presented one carpentry student with the Golden Hammer Award, which honored carpentry skills and professionalism. Mosley thought he had a good chance of winning it. Robinson thought better of it.
“He said I was a little too rowdy for the award and he wasn’t going to give it to me,” Mosley recalled.
Seeing others win this award stuck with him. Haskell offered him the opportunity to enter the apprenticeship program offered by the Northeast Florida Builders Association (NEFBA) and, later in life, pursued his education to learn management skills and Spanish to communicate better with Hispanic employees.
Robinson’s example also impressed upon Mosley the importance of apprenticeship opportunities for young people. He now uses his position with Haskell to work with the Clay County School District and NEFBA to provide apprenticeships in carpentry, welding, HVAC, drafting and electrical.
Apprenticeships are not to be confused with internships, Mosely explained. College internships aren’t regulated, and often the student works for free to gain experience. Apprenticeships are regulated by federal and state guidelines and are paid positions. Apprentices work during the day and attend classes a couple of nights a week.
Annually, Haskell hosts an awards luncheon for more than 100 high school students to express the importance of taking a career seriously. Many have joined the company as apprentice Permanent Craft Employees (PCEs).
Haskell’s groundbreaking PCE program was established in the mid-1970s when the company extended full-time employment and benefits to skilled tradespeople, providing stability to these professionals and elevating project standards. Today, the group numbers roughly 100 craftsmen – some selected for their potential, others for their expertise. Ultimately, they become masters in their trades and play a foundational role in the safety, quality, and efficiency of the projects on which they work.
Ethan Weiskircher, 20, is in the last year of his apprenticeship. He joined Haskell right after graduating in 2019 from Ridgeview High School, where he was a member of the carpentry program for all four years. He’s part of a crew working on a six-story addition to Baptist Hospital Fleming Island.
He sees how the apprenticeship is helping him daily.
“You learn about 70% or more out here in the field,” Weiskircher said. “But it helps to go to the classes and have the book knowledge. A lot of guys come out here because they want to use their hands. But by using the knowledge from the apprenticeship, it gives you a boost out here in the field.”
He’s so pleased with his career choice that he wants to be a Haskell lifer.
“I don’t have any plans to move anywhere else,” he said. “I started with Haskell two weeks after I graduated from high school. This is a pretty good gig.”
Workers with apprentice credentials walk into a prospective employer’s office with advantages, Mosley said. Former apprentices start at a higher wage and are given more responsibility because they have shown an eagerness to learn and work.
In his own case, Mosley completed his apprenticeship program in 1989. By 1992 he was a carpenter foreman with Haskell.
“The industry is looking for people who want careers and not just a job,” he said.
Mosley brings his real-world experience to the apprentice classroom as a certified Subject Matter Expert by the National Center for Construction Education and Research. He and other certified construction professionals regularly review the apprenticeship curriculum. As new construction techniques are developed and new equipment is employed, it is added to the curriculum. Haskell often contributes the equipment that is used for instruction.
Mosley is often a guest speaker at Clay County trade school classes. He shares his story and emphasizes the importance of apprenticeships.
“I tell them I had two choices – the military or to go to work,” he said. “I opted out of the military and chose construction, and I have never looked back.”
He is reminded of his days as an apprentice nearly every day when he enters the Haskell Building on Riverside Avenue in Jacksonville.
“As an apprentice, I helped build this building,” he said. “I never dreamed I would one day be sitting here in a river front office.”
Haskell delivers more than $1 billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 1,800 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.
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