Arizona Construction Career Days 2021
by: Henry Staggs, NCCER Master Trainer
A little history first
The Association for Construction Career Development started working with the Federal Highway Administration and the National Association of Women in Construction in construction. Its mission is to support and promote the construction industry through education and employment. Thank goodness for them, and all they do. If you haven't heard of these folks, you can learn more here.
Since they got started their list of partners has grown a lot:
•Career and Technical Education (CTE)
•Local Labor Unions and Apprenticeship programs
•Local Utility Companies (SRP, APS, SWG)
•Many Construction Leaders in the State of Arizona
WOW! Right, look at all those fantastic organizations coming together for the single purpose of introducing young people to the construction industry.
What are Arizona Construction Career Days?
Every year a fantastic caring group of contractors, trade unions, training providers, recruiters, etc. Gather at the National Gaurd Center at 5636 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85008. Everyone sets up fun booths, fun games, and challenges. All for the students to get a feel for the construction industry.
The Students get bussed in and then take a walk through the vendor's booths, directed by their instructor. Laughing and having a great time. Doing stuff like building PVC houses, riding lifts to banging on nails, and playing with remote-controlled mini-heavy equipment land movers.
I am a witness to the fun these students were having. And not just the students, the teachers, and every vendor was having a great time. It was more like a festival or a fair, to be honest than a typical trades show.
Where are the roofers?
Unfortunately, the roofing industry is not represented in any way there. I walked up and down, back and forth. Talked to a ton of people, took a lot of photos. As close as we got to roofing, where the guys giving students rides on a lift. They got to wear a fall harness and that's as close as we got. I didn't see anything to do with waterproofing at all.
We can change that right? By "we" I mean the industry. We as an industry missed the change in 2021 to say hello to about 3000 Sr High School students. Who wants to go into construction, and arent sure what trade to choose.
it's really no different than the trade schools. Roofing isn't on the list, they clearly won't choose something that is not presented. We can and we must change that.
Thank you BYF
My wife and I were there as volunteers at Arizona Build Your own Future Initiative. I have to say, those folks are AMAZING! They give away their time, and we only get so much. To help young people find their way into a career in the construction industry. The passion they have is contagious. I feel even more invested now in seeing roofing grow than I was before. Just for being around those great people for two days.
We held a build a PVC house contest. Students came in teams of three. One foreman and two builders. The foreman gets the drawing and tells the builders what to do. The builders take the PVC parts from a bag. And then they build the house. Each team is timed, and the winner is the team with the shortest time.
So much fun! The students had fun, we had fun, passer-bys had fun watching.
We had times from 30 minutes to 4 minutes. I know right, what a variance. But you know what, not one of those students gave up. Every one of them kept working at it until they eventually got it right.
While I was so impressed with the entire event, and completely blown away with the way these folks do what they do. The students loved it! I was a little sad not to see roofing there. Let's make sure roofing is there loud and proud next year.