SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - Build My Future is a construction showcase for high school students across Missouri. The goal is to start filling construction and trade job openings. Right now, the industry has more openings than there are qualified workers.
Part of the issue lies in baby-boomers retiring. High school students also don't get much hands-on experience in the construction field to see if it sparks their interest. The Springfield Build My Future Collaborative solves that problem by inviting schools to participate in a day of hands on exhibits including activities representing architecture, bricklaying, heavy equipment operating, virtual reality simulations, welding, and more.
Another issue is the stigma surrounding the construction industry. The Executive Director with the Missouri Contractors Association, Megan Short, said the idea that construction is a "dirty job" is far from reality. "The truth of the situation is there is technology now, you can make really good money right out of school," said Short.
Katherine Trombetta with the Missouri Job Center said this is also a good option for students for who a four-year college may not be the best option or financially feasible. "This is a great opportunity to explore those other career pathways and get out and work with your hands and just find out what it is that interests students beyond a four-year degree." The Missouri Job Center has been a partner with Build My Future since it's start three years ago.
Megan Short explained the importance of getting millennials interested in the labor force can't be stressed enough. She says if these jobs are not filled, somewhere down the line, communities and economies will start to feel the impact.
The third annual Build My Future Construction Showcase will be Wednesday, April 17 at the E-Plex at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. The deadline for students to register is Friday, March 15. Students just need to talk with their counselor to register. The event is free, all schools and students need to provide is their own transportation.