CONNstruction - Winter 2008 - (Page 11)

newsandviews Building Our Future and Theirs “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt If you are 52 years old and working in the commercial construction industry, you are average, according to the U.S. Department of Labor statistics. That is the average age of the American construction worker. However, there is nothing average about being a construction worker. And that is our industry’s message. Being a part of the commercial construction industry means to be responsible for designing a bridge, pouring the concrete for a hospital addition that will be used to treat children with cancer, or operating a crane to hoist steel beams skyward. Our industry is the backbone of Americans’ lifestyles and high quality of life. But you knew that. It may not be so well known that despite these tough economic times, there is no shortage of potential careers in the construction industry. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates a need for 1 million new workers by 2012. To put 1 million in perspective, today, the American construction industry employs more than 7 million and represents more than $1 trillion annually in economic activity, including $500 billion in materials and supplies, and $36 billion in new equipment. This is why Connecticut’s construction industry does not overlook our future workforce needs. With the cooperative effort of CCIA members, the various trades, including the carpenters, operating engineers, ironworkers, laborers, plumbers, electricians, and mason/bricklayers, ConnDOT, FHWA, technical schools By Faith Gavin Kuhn CCIA Director of Public Information Utility Contractors Association of Connecticut Executive Director Equipment Dealers Executive Director and several colleges, Connecticut’s Construction Career Days Program is alive and well. We just held our seventh program, which offers juniors and seniors the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities, such as operating heavy equipment, including loaders, excavators, and pile drivers. Skilled tradespeople demonstrate crafts such as bricklaying, concrete finishing, welding, plumbing, electrical installation, materials testing, and pipe laying. Technology-based careers associated with construction, such as architecture, engineering, estimating, and surveying are also represented. Exhibits display the newest computer technology used in planning, designing, and constructing highways, bridges, and buildings. Nearly 1,200 juniors and seniors from 64 schools registered for this year’s event. Of the 64 schools, 12 were new schools and registration was “sold out” by the end of May for the October event. We have a student waiting list for next year. There were close to 60 exhibitors, both inside exhibits and outside exhibits. But is our Career Days Program attracting young new workers to the industry? We believe it is. The apprenticeship and training programs throughout the state tell us that our program has helped created a crucial link between students and the industry. As guidance counselors and career counselors chaperone the students, they have built up relationships with the exhibitors. Now, during the school year, the counselors are calling the apprenticeship programs or exhibitors (all listed in the program booklet students and chaperones receive at the event) to inquire about training opportunities for the students. The technical schools and colleges agree that the program is working. CCSU’s Construction Management program credits CT Construction Career Days with increasing enrollment by 30 percent. According to Melissa Stocum of PA College of Technology’s Heavy Construction Equipment, CT’s Career Days program always brings in many new students to their college. Many exhibitors have been there all seven years; it must be worthwhile for them if they keep coming back. This is what the students are saying on their Career Day evaluations: “Really opened my eyes for future options.” “Very interesting, and you learned while having fun.” “I really like it, plus construction is something I would look into.” “Learning more about the opportunities for me.” In response to the question, “What was most meaningful of Construction Career Days?” “Everything.” Please see photos of this year’s Construction Career Days, starting on page 32. CONNstruction / Winter 2008 / 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Winter 2008

CONNstruction - Winter 2008
The Next Phase of Contracting Reform
A Return to Trust – Partnering
Building Our Future and Theirs
New “Green Buildings” Law Presents Opportunities and Challenges
Internet Searches and Job Applicants
First Impressions
ConnDOT Hosts the Nation’s Transportation Officials
Reducing our Environmental Footprint
Connecticut Apprenticeship Program Handles Industry Changes and Demands for New Workers
2008 Construction Career Days Program
Contractors Must Become More Diligent During Workers’ Compensation Rate Decline
UCAC General Membership Meeting/Lifetime Achievement Award
John “Jack” Costello Memorial Scholarship
Marvin Morganbesser’s Retirement Dinner
Index to Advertisers

CONNstruction - Winter 2008