SHELBY COUNTY, Ky. — There’s a desperate need for younger workers in the construction industry according to the president of the Home Builders Association of Kentucky.
In their annual Kentucky Construction Career Days, that’s exactly what they attracted. Nearly 3,000 high school students from across the Commonwealth came to learn more about careers in construction.
Scott County High School senior Tia Bennett is exploring her options with her friend Chloe Mcglothen.
“I’m more interested in learning about kind of building it, like not actually the hands-on but like the process actually takes into constructing like this building per se. They need a blueprint and all that so I’m more interested in that type of career,” Bennett said.
They attended the 16th annual Kentucky Construction Career Days at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.
“For me, like I’m more interested in like the hands-on experience, like I love to build to create things so that’s just as important to me because that’s my interest,” McGlothen said.
K4C Board Member Teena Oaken and the organization put together trade skills and construction education in one area.
“By having this, it’s really good because the kids get to experience the machinery. They get to look at an electrician’s life, their pay stubs, and what it’s going to be for them,” Oaken said.
The National Association of Homebuilders is projecting that residential construction will need 2.2 million new hires nationwide over the next three years.
“Without the youth getting into this, what’s gonna happen in ten, fifteen, twenty years, when our guys that are in construction now have retired out, you know?” Oaken said. “We really need the youth to be involved and understand what they can do for not just our industry but for our world.”
K4C, a trade education program, said 75 construction and trade companies attended and connected technical education programs to high school students from across the state.
“My grandfather is a welder, and he’s always wanted me to follow in his footsteps so I’ve always wanted to weld and make him proud of me,” McGlothen said.