The new Events Center is just one of the many projects contributing to a record building season in Sioux Falls, so it may come as a surprise that the number of people pursuing construction careers is down. Now, the city is taking action.
The Associated General Contractors are starting at the source, trying to get high school students interested about careers in construction.
“Well there was someone in there to help walk you through it, but once you learn the controls it’s pretty straightforward,” said James Goehring, a student at CTE Academy Welding.
Students like Goehring say operating machines like tractors help give him direction in choosing a future career.
“Construction has a broad range of opportunities, everything from equipment operation to carpentry to steel erection, working with your hands in the field,” said Ben Holst, Associated General Contractors’ Workforce Development Coordinator.
The real life learning experience is a collaborative effort with Associated General Contractors, local business and schools.
“It’s more hands on an I’m more of a hands on learner like if I was just listening to someone I might get bored and just like wander and daydream and stuff, but this was more hands on, and you get into it and you could see what they were doing,” said Kylie Huygens, a student at CTE Academy Carpentry and Cabinetry.
One of the goals is get high school students excited about careers in construction that they might not have thought about otherwise.
“Baby boomers are getting older and retiring and there’s just less people, and people are not considering construction as a valid career,” said Holst.
Navigating actual construction equipment allowed students a unique opportunity.
“Today offered me a lot of variety of seeing how stuff is done in the real world,” said Irina Ivanova, a student at CTE Academy Carpentry and Cabinetry.
And many told us they plan to pursue jobs in the field.
“I was going to think about doing interior design and construction also, so you would know what you could put here and what you can’t,” said Huygens.
Tuesday’s event was a team effort including business like Muth electric and Howe heating and plumbing hoping to find potential future hires.