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Terrence Chance: Journeyman Bound

Terrance Chance

Simply put, Terrence Chance is a rising star and the world should be watching. The Southern School of Energy and Sustainability student was hired as a paid intern at Right Build Construction Company in Morrisville this summer and has entered his senior year with the experience of a veteran builder.


He was introduced to RBI through the Durham Public Schools WayMakers’ program. The WayMakers Collaborative is a public-private partnership of business, education and workforce development partners committed to building a robust pipeline of talent into skilled trades and construction careers in and around Durham. 


Terrence performed punch list work, learning about environmental safety, blueprints, design plans, architecture, and subcontracting. Punch-listing, according to Terrence, is the hardest part of construction because it requires precise maintenance.


“You want that building to last 100 years after you build it. The work requires a thorough look,” he said, noting that one day he’ll tell his children about his project participation.


Right Build, owned by Karl Davis, is a construction management company that specializes in professional construction services, general contracting, and program management services. 


Terrence, whose goal is to become a certified electrician and earn his credentials as a LEED specialist, said he loved the time spent learning the profession and craft of construction.  LEED is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.


“The neatness and complexity satisfied my obsession with perfection.  This work requires you to think and problem-solve. It opened my eyes to an entirely new aspect of construction. I realized how technologically involved and tedious construction management work can be. I also realized that I had not touched any aspect of construction, not to mention being in the field,” Terrence said. “It’s more involved than I thought,” he said.

Terrance Chase in class

President Davis took Terrence with him to project sites, explaining the work and work demeanor along the way.


“I saw myself in Terrence,” said Davis. “I’ve tried to instill in him the importance of being more than average, twice as good. I’ve tried to instill in him the way I’ve been raised.”  The business side of making a living was just as important to assert.


“So many people know how to physically build but they don’t know the business side,” said Davis.


Terrence said the mentorship was invaluable.


“I will remember advice from genuinely good people.  They care about you. I learned about work and loyalty,” he said.


Terrence also understands loyalty to your own dreams.  He is on track to become a distinguished Journeyman, the highest level of achievement for an electrician. Once he is licensed as a Master Electrician, he plans to utilize his credentials not only to do notable work but to help others by creating a non-profit start-up. He also wants to open a chain of car washes.


“I’ve got plans,” he said.


He said his upward trajectory is due to people who cared about him. “The initial spark was kindled by people along the way.”


He doesn’t hesitate to share that his father-figure adopted him as a single parent when Terrence was nine years old. He also adopted Terrence’s brother, and has been by his side ever since.


Southern School of Energy and Sustainability runs a close second as a major influence in his life.


“I don’t think I would have gotten this experience at another school,” said Terrence, who also attended Glenn Elementary and Brogden Middle schools.  He said his teacher Christian Parr has “made the knowledge click. He’s an amazing teacher. As long as you’re getting your work, you can talk to him about anything.”

Terrance Chase, Family and RBI Staff at an RBI Event

Parr said his teaching method includes class discussions about topics, and utilizing repetition.


“Sometimes things click for students even when they don’t know it. It is exciting to see students start to ‘get it’ and that spark lights them up.  The trades are amazing, and people need to know how many opportunities there are.


He adds that the skilled trades arena is always in need of professionals, so he considers his work as a teacher important to career development.


“As a class, we are constantly going over the importance of work ethic, communication skills, and being dependable within the workforce.  STP (Skilled Trade Pathways) is a wide-ranging course that dives into the trades, each having its own set of skills, and finding what the student enjoys about each,” he said.


And once they begin to enjoy learning, they’ve opened the door to their careers.


“The future I envision for my students is that they are able to do what they are excited about.  They have careers and not jobs.  They come back and see me when they ‘make it’ and speak to my new students about what this program did for them and how the students can change their lives for the better with trades,” said Parr.