The 18th annual Arizona Construction Career Days, which the Association for Construction and Career Development ran, aimed to expose young people to new career options they may not otherwise have considered that do not necessarily require a college degree.
Of the 130 participating schools, several hailed from Queen Creek and Apache Junction. Those schools included American Leadership Academy Queen Creek and Casteel High School as well as Apache Junction High School.
Rosendin, an employee-owned electrical contracting company, offered participating students several hands-on demonstrations with technology that has changed the industry, such as computer modeling and augmented reality, according to a press release.
Volunteers from the company’s Tempe office also taught students how to wire a light, fabricate tubes and bend conduit pipe. Rosendin hopes these kinds of experiences will inspire students to consider a career in construction as a viable option for their future.
Nearly 3,500 students and 400 teachers from 130 schools and 12 counties attended Arizona Construction Career Days, traveling as far as from Yuma, Winslow and the Navajo Reservation.
Rosendin was one of 66 companies participating in the two-day event, held at the Arizona Army National Guard at Papago Park at 5636 E. McDowell Road in Phoenix.
“We were thrilled to have a chance to speak with thousands of young people to demonstrate that a career in construction includes emerging technology for people who like computers, climate controlled workspaces and new tools that erase any gender differences,” Mike Greenawalt, senior vice president at Rosendin Electric.
“These events are important because when schools cut vocational programs, it began changing society’s perception of skilled trades and we need people now more than ever.”
Students that visited the Rosendin booth also learned about its apprenticeship programs which offer hands-on learning, while earning a paycheck and attending classes once a week. Out of pocket costs for an electrical apprenticeship with Rosendin and the Phoenix Electrical JATC run about $8,000 over a four-year program.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates nearly 60% of U.S. jobs will be related to construction in the next decade, yet there is a shortage of qualified workers, a release states.
The tight labor market has forced companies to offer new perks and paid apprenticeships that will lead to high-paying positions around the state, as well as engage in workforce development initiatives like Arizona Construction Career Days.
“Construction is an honorable field that rewards the values of dedication, excellence, and pride in workmanship,” Rose Ann Conizales, president of the Association for Construction Career Development, said in a prepared statement.
“We thank Rosendin and the 65 other exhibiting partners for supporting this event and demonstrating to young people the successful lives one can have in the construction science field.”