Approximately 700 high school students got a close-up look at opportunities in the urban construction field recently at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
The occasion was the Construction Skills 2000 career day sponsored by the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York and the Building Trades Employers’ Association, and supported by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York City School Construction Authority, the New York City Department of Education, the New York Building Congress and the Consortium for Worker Education. In all, 17 trade union locals introduced students to the various crafts of construction.
Construction Skills 2000 is a preparatory training course for high school seniors that, if they receive their diploma and successfully complete the course, provides preferred access to union apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trade industry.
The purpose of the career day at the Javits Center was to introduce high school students to careers in the construction industry, particularly through this Construction Skills 2000 program.
“The construction industry has always provided people with the training and well-paying jobs that have been essential to expanding New York’s middle class,” said Diane Springer, director of Construction Skills 2000. “Through this career day, hundreds of students can see for themselves what the industry is all about and how they can be a part of it.”
The program makes a particular point to reach out to the diverse population of students in all five boroughs of New York City. Students at the career day attend the city’s vocational, technical and specialty high schools.
The New York City Department of Education, responsible for the public school system in the five boroughs, works closely with Construction Skills 2000 to develop curriculum and expose students, parents and educators to the wide array of meaningful careers in the building and construction industry. The Consortium for Worker Education, an organization devoted to work force development in New York City, assists Construction Skills 2000 with the delivery of the preparatory training course for students.
Equipment on site included three Komatsu units, at the Operating Engineers Local 14 stand, furnished by dealer Edward Ehrbar Inc., Pelham Manor, NY: a WB 140 tractor-loader-backhoe, a WA 250 Avance rubber-tired tool carrier, and a PC 09 utility mini-excavator. The Operating Engineers Local 15 display featured a Link-Belt RTC 8030 hydraulic rough-terrain crane from Cranes Inc. (Unfortunately, because of Javits Center regulations, the machines at the Operating Engineers’ stands could not be started so live demonstrations were out of the question.)
After welcoming remarks by New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, BCTC President Edward J. Malloy and BTEA President and CEO Louis J. Coletti, students toured exhibits demonstrating the different construction crafts and the skills, training and equipment needed. Both emphasized the continuing need for skilled construction workers and this career day introduced students to the primary route for getting into the industry.