The current Workforce Partnership which is expanding throughout Shelby County schools began in the Sidney City Schools in 2013 due to the efforts of Martin L. "Mick" Given, President of Ferguson Construction, and several business contemporaries whose collective efforts were welcomed by the school board and administration. The program is designed to teach the skills that make students employable while exposing them to the numerous opportunities available locally. Its growth has been dynamic, with success stories beginning to appear.
Mick Given (SHS 1975) will be joined by fellow alumni Susan L. Russell (SHS 1970) and Thomas P. Milligan (SHS 1978), along with the late Kenneth W. McCormick (Teacher 1968-93) as the newest inductees to the Sidney City Schools Hall of Honor on Friday, April 21 at 7:30pm in the high school auditorium. A reception will follow in the adjacent gymnasium with both events fully open to the public.
While growing up in a home with a dad who ran a prominent construction company (Thomas E. Given, SHS 1949, HoH 1997), Mick embraced a future opportunity with Ferguson while recognizing that his own education should bring a new skill set to the expanding and evolving business. After spending summers working in the field with Ferguson, he graduated from the University of Dayton with a degree in civil engineering and brought that expertise back to Sidney. By 2001 he was company President.
Family has always been the centerpiece of the firm's culture. This goes well beyond the Given family. "Our annual company Christmas party illustrates both our growth and emphasis on family," he said recently. "My first Ferguson Christmas party with my parents was in the mid-1960's in a small banquet hall on Water Street with plenty of room for employees and families. Today we have about 350 employees and 500 attendees."
Once a well known home builder, Ferguson has evolved into a major regional design/build contractor for large projects including industrial, commercial, storage, educational, and medical applications. Three satellite offices complement the Sidney base of operations.
His Workforce Partnership leadership is currently his most visible civic contribution but is just one of many that resulted in his 2014 selection for the local Chamber of Commerce Zenith Award for lifetime achievement in community service. His resume' includes service to the YMCA, Wilson Health, Sidney Memorial Stadium, Sidney City Schools, Shelby Hills and S & H Products, Community Foundation, Moose Lodge, University of Dayton, and United Way. He's also been active in professional organizations within the construction industry and has been widely recognized for those efforts.
Given becomes the first member of his 1975 graduating class to be inducted into the Hall of Honor. He and wife Vickie (Jones, SHS 1975) reside in Sidney and have three adult children.