Local Eagles tourney addresses trades labor shortage SanTan Sun News

Local Eagles tourney addresses trades labor shortage

Local Eagles tourney addresses trades labor shortage
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SANTAN SUN NEWS STAFF

Partly mindful of the critical workforce shortage in Arizona’s construction industry, the Gilbert Eagles are trying to do something about the problem with their inaugural golf tournament.

Their Fathers’ Day weekend  tournament — 7 a.m. June 15 at Western Skies Golf Club, 1245 E. Warner Road, Gilbert, is raising money for a scholarship fund that will benefit students who are going to college or trade schools.

“We feel helping individuals for trade school is looked over for financial assistance,” said Mike Clark, chairman and organizer of the tournament.

The labor shortage is fueling a rise in construction costs throughout the Valley, escalating the cost of both public and private projects.

Eighty percent of construction companies reported difficulty finding workers to fill the hourly craft positions that make up much of the construction workforce, according to Autodesk and the Associated General Contractors of America.

According to its 2018 survey, 48 percent of respondents in the west believed it would become harder to hire in 2019.

Clark is hoping to get participants to sign up by June 4 so he can get a headcount for Western Skies and set up teams for individuals who are not in a foursome. The tournament is limited to 120 players.

Individuals can sign up at Eventbrite for $75 while veterans can join the tourney for $55. Foursome teams are $280, although veterans get a break for $220 and the student team fee is $200.

Veterans and students must contact Clark rather than register at Eventbrite at 602-510-6562 or by email at michael@awsales.com.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles is an international nonprofit whose mission is, “In the spirit of liberty, truth, justice and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.”

It was founded in 1898 by six theater owners gathered in a Seattle shipyard to discuss a musicians’ strike. After addressing the matter, they agreed to “bury the hatchet” and form “The Order of Good Things.”

They picked the bald eagle as the official emblem and changed the name to “The Fraternal Order of Eagles.” Today, the Eagles count more than 800,000 members in the U.S. and Canada.

It donates more than $10 million a year to local communities, fundraisers and charities and prides itself on giving 100 percent of the money it raises through various events.

The Gilbert Eagles is part of the Men’s Ministry for First United Methodist Church of Gilbert.

“This is Gilbert Eagles’ inaugural golf tournament,” Clark said. “We plan on two of these per year in order to keep pace for the financial demand for college and trade school scholarships.

“We have hit a nerve and real void of youth wanting financial assistance for trade schools,” he added. “Even the people that are sponsors really took notice and appreciation that we are paying attention and helping the trade industry.”

He stressed the scholarship eligibility will be open to all Arizonans.

Clark promises the tournament “is going to be a fun event” with a professional bagpiper starting it.

It will include a golf ball cannon, putting with hockey sticks, two holes with a chance to take home $10,000 for a hole-in-one; and lunch.

The silent auction will include tickets for three Diamondbacks games with four seats together in the All-You-Can-Eat Section, autographed baseballs and restaurant vouchers.

He said the swag bags so far have about $2,000 in value and the tournament will include cart servers and a professional drone operator making a video.

The fee covers range balls, 18 holes, a cart with a phone app to keep score, Mulligans are one for $5 and three for $10.

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