Hands-on is Best Practice —ABC & CMEF hosts annual Construction Careers Expo

Pasadena, TX— On the morning of Thursday, November 5, 2015 the last of the dew was just settling at the Pasadena Municipal Fair Grounds, as volunteers gathered to anxiously await the arrival of 400 eager high school students. There was a silent understanding that they were there to help change the lives of Houston’s youth.

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The Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston (ABC) and the Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF) hosted their annual Construction Careers  Expo in efforts to engage and educate students about the many career paths in the construction industry.

Attendees were given the chance to engage with more than 40 Houston-area contractors and participate in hands-on activities such as scaffolding, drilling, pipefitting and more.

“You’ll have many opportunities to come explore career options, to make good decisions, build relationships and participate in activities that give you real-world experience,” Dr.  Steve Horton, Ed.D. CMEF Interim Director of Education & Schools Program Director said to the students.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates we will need 1.6 million new construction workers by 2022. CMEF, ABC and partnering companies understand this need and the work that  goes into developing the workforce.

“The construction industry workforce is more than just one job,” said John Membreno of the Stuart Career Center. “I have many students interested in welding, I appreciate that this event allows my students to see that the industry is more than just one occupation.”

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Houston-area educational institutions such as San Jacinto College, Lee College and Houston Community College attended to inform students of the courses available to them after high school.

“We heavily support education,” Desaree a HR representative with ISC Contractors, LLC said. “We want students to continue their education while obtaining industry experience, it enhances their path to becoming journeymen and women.”

Companies, educators, volunteers and students were able to inform and network with one another as students spent 35 minutes at each station. When asked to describe the event in one word, a group of students strongly responded, “Enlightening.”

The learning excursion helped to reinforce the core curriculum, safety education and skills taught to them in the classroom. Judging by the smiling faces, it was clear that the event achieved its intended goal, which was to help Houston’s youth build a career in construction.

To learn more about opportunities in construction, visit www.abchouston.org.

View a recap of the event here.

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