The Construction Industry Is Booming: How high school students can get in early
Youthentity is well known for its youth culinary arts programs – ProStart and YouthChefs, which teach high school students culinary skills while allowing them to experience what it’s like to work in the field - but lesser known for its architectural design and construction management programs. Our newest program, Engineering & Construction Management, is growing quickly, and allows students to gain experience in the industry, testing it out and gaining real-world skills while earning high school class credits.
At Youthentity, part of our mission is to provide our community’s kids with career opportunities within the Roaring Fork region. We want to help prepare the future workforce for industries that exist and are flourish right here in the Roaring Fork Valley so kids can build successful futures. Construction is a staple industry from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, and the valley’s continued growth means that opportunities in this valley for construction work are plentiful. In starting our industry internship, we’ve gained valuable supporters from the construction industry’s top companies such as Gould, Gallegos, and MG Construction. These leaders not only donate supplies and funding for Youthentity programs, but the time and expertise of their founders and employees to help mentor and guide students along in the program.
What is construction?
The commercial and residential building industry is often referred to as simply, “construction”, though there are many jobs and paths within. Based on stats provided by The Career Balance, this high-growth industry employed over 6,881,000 million US workers in 2017. Within the industry, job titles with the highest number of employees included:
· Carpenters - 575,100
· Construction Laborers - 764,090
· Construction Managers - 202,530
· Electricians - 464,810
· Operating Engineers and other Equipment Operators - 229,250
Other jobs include:
· Ironworkers & welders
· Solar panels installation experts
Colorado is seeing a higher-than-average job and wage growth in the construction industry. According to the Leeds School of Business’ Colorado Business Review:
· Construction is projected to add 790,400 new jobs in Colorado by 2024. Employment is estimated to grow faster than the average for all occupations.
· As of 2017, the average annual pay in the industry was $59,446, slightly above the average Colorado pay of $56,916.
· A labor shortage, especially skilled labor, remains a critical challenge for the industry.
What does the Youthentity Engineering & Construction program do for students?
First, joining the Engineering & Construction Management program allows you to earn class credits towards high school graduation. Second, the industry experience gained will give you an edge in employment options. The more work experience you have, the more likely companies will hire you (and possibly for more pay than someone without this experience).
· Programs begins February 6th and meets once a week through May 22nd
· Fee is $50, which includes work boots that are the students’ to keep after the program ends
· It is taught by industry professionals from Gould, Gallegos, Wagner and other experts and mentors.
The experience you receive in the program doesn’t just give you an advantage in the construction industry; showing potential employers that you succeeded in this program will make you more employable in any field.
How to sign up for the program
First, speak with your high school counselor to make sure the program fits your class schedule and class credit requirements. After you’ve decided the program is right for you:
1. visit the program page and read the class syllabus,
2. read and sign the contract and have your parent or guardian sign the consent form.
Your $50 registration fee includes all supplies and a pair of work boots, which are yours to keep after the program. A bus pass is also included (you must request this on your contract).
Joining the Youthentity Engineering & Construction Management program doesn’t mean you have to work in the construction industry. But it does allow you to try it out, and your experience working in teams, managing projects and problem solving will transfer to any field you ultimately choose. And if you do enter the field of construction after high school, you’ll have a unique edge and head start to success.
Class starts on February 6th – we hope to see you there!