This October, the Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter (AGC) has partnered with the National Association of Minority Contractors–Oregon Chapter (NAMC) and Portland Public Schools (PPS) to host a variety of virtual events as part of Careers in Construction Month. These events will provide students, teachers, and administrators an opportunity to learn about the industry and the careers it provides.
October is Careers in Construction Month (CICM), a national initiative that seeks to raise awareness and inspire the next generation of industry workers. COVID has presented many challenges to school districts across Oregon, including the ability to offer career-based learning activities. This year it felt particularly important to develop and host virtual construction-focused events that were accessible to schools, students, and community organizations. CICM affords an opportunity for AGC and NAMC to include their members to create virtual events that fill an important educational need.
On October 6 at 9:30 am, Nate McCoy, executive director of NAMC, will kick-off Careers in Construction Month and the virtual events. Over the course of the day, students and teachers can choose from four virtual site visits that highlight a different company. The companies participating include Raimore Construction, EC Electric, Todd Construction, and Power Systems West. The objective is to showcase the breadth of the construction industry and the multiple career pathways available.
“At NAMC we seek to improve the awareness, capacity, and skills of certified minority-owned businesses to achieve economic independence and entrepreneurial success, and create a more diverse workforce,” said Nate McCoy, NAMC executive director. “Opportunities like Careers in Construction Month allow our members to showcase their diverse talent while promoting construction careers to youth who would not otherwise see themselves in the industry.”
A week later, on October 13, two panel discussions will be offered virtually to discuss registered apprenticeship. The panel includes coordinators from a variety of registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs who will discuss their training program, application process, and how best to prepare for a career in the trades. In a separate webinar, a panel of current apprentices will discuss their training and on-the-job experience and offer tips and advice on how to be successful. These two webinars will help students and teachers understand apprenticeship and the different paths to complete the training.
Since these events are offered via Zoom webinar, participation is open to any student who has access to the webinar link. This has allowed the planning team to extend the opportunity to school districts located across Oregon. Event information, including webinar links, can be found on the Build-Oregon webpage.
“While this school year looks a lot different than years past, it is important that the construction industry continues to provide opportunities to educate young people about the industry and the multitude of career options available,” said Mike Salsgiver, AGC Oregon-Columbia Chapter executive director. “AGC, NAMC, and PPS are proud to offer a variety of events created as part of Careers in Construction Month, and the group looks forward to building upon this partnership to create additional events in the future.”