Recently, C3 Operations Manager, Maria Aimone, and I had the privilege of participating in the Associated Builders and Contractors Construction Careers Expo held at the Pasadena Fairgrounds. Given that Maria and I do not have much experience with career fairs, we were not sure what to expect. However, we were very impressed! All totaled, there were 390 high school seniors from 12 different school districts and 24 high schools who participated, and many of these young people used the opportunity to investigate the many job opportunities available to them as they graduate high school and possibly enter the construction workforce.
C3 passed out information regarding the wage scales of various craft trades in the construction industry compared to other jobs in different professions. We also distributed documentation that described the cost of a college education in Texas versus the income-earning opportunity available to an individual entering the construction craft workforce today. We also pointed out that there is much more to choosing an employer and a career than how much one makes per hour, details such as employee benefits, training and culture of the organization.
Both Maria and I were impressed with the quality of the candidates that participated in the career fair. These students asked excellent questions indicating to us that they had already begun their job search.
One of my most refreshing takeaways was the fact that many of these soon-to-be-high-school graduates already have earned their NCCER Core Credential and their OSHA 10 card, and they haven’t even finished high school! While the construction industry still has a long ways to go before it solves its workforce development problem, it was apparent that several of the school districts in the Greater Houston area recognize the opportunity and have begun to prepare their students to seize it.
Photos of the ABC Construction Careers Expo are posted for viewing on the C3 website at www.constructioncareercollaborative.org.
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Construction Industry Institute (CII)
Construction Users Roundtable (CURT)
National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)