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2K high schoolers get taste of construction jobs

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A construction and trades industry event designed to shore up the future of the workforce drew thousands of high school students yesterday to the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds E-plex.

The event hosted by the Build My Future nonprofit organization featured 75 hands-on exhibits, construction equipment on-site and industry leaders in attendance, according to a news release. The Build My Future Construction Showcase had been on a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Megan Short, executive director of the Springfield Contractors Association, one of the event’s collaborating organizations, said around 2,000 high schoolers attended.

"Giving students the opportunity to experience hands-on activities representing the whole design and construction trade is important for the industry to build our talent pipeline since many students would not be aware of the variety of opportunities otherwise," Short said via email. "It’s great to see students connect with a possible career path."

Along with the SCA, Build My Future's partners are the Home Builders Association, the Builders Association, Associated General Contractors of Missouri, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Department of Transportation, the city of Springfield's Department of Workforce Development, several private companies, educational institutions and local labor unions, including the Heavy Laborers Local 663 and the Carpenters Local 987, according to the release.

The release indicates students from a 24-county area were invited to the event.


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