KC expo introduces students to careers in construction - KCTV5

KC expo introduces students to careers in construction

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Middle and high school students from across the metro gathered in an expo Tuesday to learn about careers in the construction trades.

More than 1,500 students participated in the iBuild Showcase at Kansas City's Bartle Hall presented by the National Institute for Construction Excellence.

The event offered young people the opportunity to meet face-to-face with area tradesmen and tradeswomen.

They also tried their hand at crafts, such as hanging drywall and laying bricks, operating a simulated construction crane and learned about post-secondary programs at local community colleges, universities and apprenticeships with area trades.

"Our workforce in construction is aging. There is a need to fill those spots as people go out. We know there is future," MoDOT worker AJ Byrd said.

This was the 14th year for the iBuild Showcase at Bartle Hall. 

The event gave young people the chance to try out different careers in construction and other fields.

Organizers hoped young girls realized they too can leave their mark in the building industry.

"There are so many opportunities out there. In Kansas City, MO, we have a workforce goal of 10 percent minority and 2 percent female. And we are barely meeting those goals," concrete worker Alise Martiny said.

The event also showed them a window into their future, and many students were inspired to aim high.

"I actually want to go into architecture," said Gabrielle Hughes, Jr., a Ruskin High School student.

Elliot Banker-Sumner, an eighth-grader at Indian Hills Middle School said he has always been interested in electrical engineering and computer work.

Another student, Gary Wright, a senior at Blue Springs High School learned a lot about his future at the expo.

"I have always wanted to do construction. (There are) different trades here all in place.  (I got) information on what I want to do later on in life," Wright said.

Organizers said there are opportunities for young people to get paid while learning a new trade.

For more information on apprenticeships, click here.

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