Denver, CO – Colorado Construction Career Days’ 14th annual event supports the Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC) latest efforts to urge U.S. Senators to pursue a House-related measure to boost funding and support for construction programs targeted for high school students. According to AGC of America’s latest analysis of U.S. Labor Department data, Colorado now has the third highest construction growth rate in the U.S., at 11.3% year-over-year from August 2015 to August 2016. Despite this increase in construction jobs, the AGC 2016 Workforce Survey reported that 89% of Colorado construction firms are still struggling to fill hourly craft positions. Programs and events like Colorado Construction Career Days provide high school age students exposure to the opportunities available with a career in construction. Stephen E. Sandherr, CEO of AGC of America, commented, “Making it easier for school districts to set up programs that teach construction skills will encourage more students to pursue construction careers.”
AGC of Colorado and the Colorado Contractors Association (CCA), co-sponsored Colorado Construction Career Days, which took place September 21, 2016 at the Adams County Fairgrounds. 616 high school juniors and seniors attended this day-long event where students were split into groups led by 93 construction industry volunteers. 40 local construction related firms and agencies hosted hands-on interactive construction activities where students could build benches, practice operating mini-excavators and install drywall. Karol Holcomb, 2016 CCCD Coordinator, commented, “This is not a typical career fair in that we transport the students outside into an environment where they can interact one-one-one with construction industry professionals in seven to eight activities with hammers, drills and construction machinery. This gives them a lot of exposure to the different kinds of construction trades in a short period of time.”
The cross-section of school districts represented at this construction-career pathway event included DPS to Weld County to Limon to JeffCo to Douglas County. “The event serves as a team-building experience for the students and connects them with construction professionals who are working on active job-sites where the students live and go to school,” commented Bryan Cook, Chapter Operations Director for AGC of Colorado.
The future evolution of Colorado Construction Career Days is to bring this kind of interactive event directly to the high schools where the training and instruction can be personalized to the needs of the particular school district. “Our ultimate goal is to provide a rewarding career path for those students who may not have one and demonstrate that construction can be a viable means to build a career,” said Michael Gifford, President and CEO of AGC of Colorado.
Images courtesy of AGC of Colorado