Summer assembly

Seniors build desks for multiple schools as summer job


Olivia Lauter

Seniors Luke Ledebur and JD Davidson spent their summer building desks and chairs for school districts across the metroplex.

Work last summer for seniors Luke Ledebur and JD Davidson differed from common teenager jobs. Instead of serving food or mowing lawns, they went back to school.

Each summer morning at 6 a.m., Ledebur and Davidson would drag themselves out of bed, get dressed and head out the door for the hour-long drive to start working at 7:30 a.m. Working for Ironman Insulation, the two visited multiple school districts to build and assemble desks and chairs for students attending the upcoming school year.

The job required a specific yet repetitive process each day, including unboxing and assembling triangular desks.

“The actual assembling part took me under a minute,” Ledebur said. “All you had to do was drill pieces together, put on some wheels and you’re good to go.”

In addition to the constant loading and unloading of hundreds of desk parts, Ledebur and Davidson had other jobs to complete in between assembly.

“Somedays I would do chairs, somedays I would do desks, and somedays I would be running,” Ledebur said. “Running [meaning] that once [the desk or chair] is done, you would put it on two wheels and somebody would run it to the different classrooms.”

Both Ledebur and Davidson worked with nearly 30 other students ranging from high school students to college graduates who Ledebur said made the countless hours working worthwhile.

“I worked with a few buddies, and so every single morning I’d wake up and hang out with them,” Ledebur said. “We were working hard and sweating, but we were having a good time.”

As the workers bounced from school to school, progress as well as friendships were made throughout the Metroplex.

“We probably built around 10,000 desks,” Davidson said. “We worked in about 10 different school districts ranging from Van Alstyne, Melissa, Mesquite, Frisco, Plano and Richardson. I also enjoyed meeting new guys from all around the area and learning what it’s like working a full-time job.”

Before working with Ironman Insulators, Davidson said he was uncomfortable working with tools and uncertain of his future career path.  

“It was a very good learning experience,” Davidson said. “[It] taught me to get a [college] education and not do this for the rest of my life. This job helped me learn a lot of life skills. I wasn’t very good at using the drill in the beginning, and we used the drill daily, so I just learned how to use a lot of different tools.”

For Ledebur, working from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. became more than just a daily routine.

“It was very special,” Ledebur said. “It was almost like I was doing community work and getting paid for it, so it was almost like a double bonus and working with great guys.”