President of G. J. Hopkins appointed to Governor’s Build Virginia Advisory Board

Nov 2, 2018

Will Karbach, CEO of The Branch Group, is pleased to announce the appointment of Ernie Caldwell as a member of Governor Ralph Northam’s Build Virginia Advisory Board.  Ernie is the President of G. J. Hopkins, Inc., a mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC service contractor headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia and a subsidiary of The Branch Group.  Under Ernie’s leadership, G. J. Hopkins has developed an apprenticeship program that has grown from an average of six apprentices in 2014 to thirty-one in 2018. In June of 2018, Governor Northam announced the launch of Build Virginia, an initiative that will connect workers throughout the Commonwealth with training and employment opportunities in the skilled trades—a lifeline for G. J. Hopkins.  Build Virginia brings together information about industry-recognized training programs, registered apprenticeships, and other relevant workforce development resources.  Ultimately, it will serve as a comprehensive hub for citizens across the Commonwealth to learn about the skilled trades and connect with employers seeking talent.

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Apprenticeship Graduate on Program

Apprenticeship Graduate on Program

We love sharing stories about people like Chris Smith during National Apprenticeship Week. He completed our apprenticeship program, worked hard to become a master electrician, and is now G.J. Hopkins’ Electrical Special Projects Supervisor. Thank you for your hard...

Electrical Apprenticeship Program

Electrical Apprenticeship Program

National Apprenticeship Week gives us the opportunity to recognize hard-working students like Kevin Maes. He is already leading jobs and has a bright future ahead of him. We know you’ll be able to reach your goal of becoming a master electrician, Kevin! “I originally...

Our Adult Apprenticeship Program

Our Adult Apprenticeship Program

Happy National Apprenticeship Week! Seth Mordick is in his final year of our apprenticeship program and is looking forward to what’s next. Thank you for choosing G.J. Hopkins, Seth. “I’m in my fourth year of the G.J. Hopkins Apprenticeship Program. I was interested in...

Our Student Apprenticeship Program

Our Student Apprenticeship Program

In honor of National Apprenticeship Week, we would like to recognize our apprentices. Garrett Belcher didn’t think college was for him and loves moving around, so he enrolled in our Student Apprenticeship Program. He looks forward to completing the program and...

The Making of a Construction Leader: From Helper to President

The Making of a Construction Leader: From Helper to President

Becoming the president of a company wasn’t something Ernie Caldwell initially thought about when he started in the construction industry. He earned his associate degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Western Community College and tried to get an entry-level...

Building a Long-Term Career in a Changing Industry

Building a Long-Term Career in a Changing Industry

One of the three principles that guided Byron Hicks through his career in the construction industry is, “Work the metal, don’t let the metal work you.” It was instilled in him by his father, who was highly skilled in sheet metal fabrication. Byron followed in his...

President Appointed to Governor’s business-led board

President Appointed to Governor’s business-led board

J. William Karbach, CEO of The Branch Group, is proud to share Governor Ralph Northam’s nominations announced Friday for his Virginia Board of Workforce Development (VBWD). We are pleased to announce the appointment of Ernie Caldwell, President of G. J. Hopkins, a...