On Wednesday, April 18, over 1000 local high school juniors and seniors were gathered at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds for the third-annual Tampa Bay Construction Career Days. Throughout the day, students had the opportunity to learn about bridge construction, paving, concrete, traffic control, engineering, public involvement and other careers related to the construction industry. Representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), engineering firms and contractors involved in the transportation industry were on hand to answer questions and engage the students in learning modules on a wide variety of topics. For many, though, the highlight of the event was the opportunity to operate the heavy construction machinery set up at various stations throughout the fairgrounds.
With the rapid growth occurring within the District Seven region and major transportation construction projects on the horizon, the importance of finding and training the construction industry workers of tomorrow is something not lost on FDOT District Seven Secretary David Gwynn.
“Construction is booming here in Tampa Bay. We have billions of dollars of construction activity lined up for next decade, and FDOT is committed to creating a pipeline of long-term economic and workforce opportunities for the Millennial generation,” Secretary Gwynn said. “Construction Career Days is a fun, monumental event for these high school students. We’re introducing them to careers that are in great demand, have substantial benefits and add tremendous value to their communities.”
Construction Career Days is a nationwide educational outreach program designed to cultivate interest in high school students for the wide variety of skilled construction careers. The local events give students the chance to get a feel for the field by participating in activities like operating machinery and speaking to experienced industry veterans. The Tampa Bay Construction Career Day is hosted by Suncoast Utility Contractors Association (SUCA), FDOT, Florida Transportation Builders Association (FTBA) and other industry leaders.