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.