Century High School hosts trade event 'Construct Tomorrow' for s - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Century High School hosts trade event 'Construct Tomorrow' for students to explore careers in construction and engineering.


Century High School is helping students decide if they want to go the traditional route and go to college, or learn and start a career in a different way.

The school hosted a trade event on Friday - a hands-on exploration of careers in construction and engineering. The event featured different exhibitions from different areas of the construction and building trades, like architecture and engineering.

And this was not just for Century High School students, students from grades 10 through 12 from districts around the area had the opportunity to participate in the hands-on activities

"What we're trying to do is show the kids that there are other career paths and alternatives to college education," said Eugene Grover with Minnesota Building & Construction Trades.

Earn while you learn: that was the motto of the day. College isn't necessarily for everyone, in that there other ways for people to learn and gain skills, like an apprenticeship in construction or engineering.

"You're only taking classes that are gonna benefit you in your career," said Jeremy Thompson with Local 6 Plumbers & Pipefitters.

An apprenticeship allows students to take classes for construction or engineering at night, and work full time during the day with a contractor.

"The nice thing about an apprenticeship program is that they're working full time, so they're making a good wage while they're going to school and getting an education at night. They're learning all the skills, gaining all the knowledge that they need to be successful in the trade," said Thompson.

All the instructors work in the field, so they're the ones teaching the class and training students, at little or no cost for that training.

Plus there's an added peace of mind to being in a union in the construction or engineering trades.

"An individual isn't having to worry about filling out applications, going to the interviews, updating resumes. Where as being part of the union would be that we provide the job placement," said Nate O'Reilly with Iron Workers Local 512. "They get laid off or a job slows down with an employer, they contact the Union Hall. We have over a hundred other different contractors to place them on work," he said.
Students got the hands-on experience of using tools and equipment they may use on the job one day.
"They can walk up to the table and they can understand what it is. They may have some pre-conceived notion of what it was like, and then what the hands-on experience gives them a little bit more of that connection," said Grover.

And that hands-on experience would help them construct tomorrow.

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