Industry Night Showcases High-Paying Career Options After High School

By: Michael G. King

Communications Intern, The Prewitt Group

This year’s Construction Science Expo: Industry Night, was held at Randolph Career Technical High School to showcase the many opportunities available in construction, skilled trades, and engineering for young people and adults. Event sponsors focused on raising awareness about this industry by showing the attendees—especially students—that skilled trades are viable, well-paying careers with pathways to leadership and entrepreneurship.

L to R: D. Needham, M. Jones, K. McKinney-King, L. Graham; T to B: L. Curtis, A. Fisher, B. Osbern

L to R: D. Needham, M. Jones, K. McKinney-King, L. Graham; T to B: L. Curtis, A. Fisher, B. Osbern

Employers, and union and community representatives were on-site to discuss how to find employment in the skilled trades industry. Presenters had this to say about how their organizations are helping to fill the employment pipeline.

Doug Needham, President, Michigan Aggregates Association

“We need to figure out how to help those that struggle with the math and reading skills required. This event is a launching pad or starting point for helping to develop Michigan’s future skilled work force.”

Minou Jones, Executive Director, The Black Caucus Foundation of Michigan

“Stress and the inability to cope lead a lot of our youth to drug abuse. Our life skills and substance abuse prevention programs provide Detroit’s youth with the tools they will need to be successful in today’s job market.”

Krista McKinney-King, Principal, Randolph Career and Technical Center

“At Randolph, education goes deeper than just technical skills; we also focus on the soft skills that are necessary for lasting employment. We want to make sure that our students understand what it means to be a man or a woman working in a professional capacity.”

Lee Graham, Executive Director for Labor Management, Operating Engineers 324

“There are a lot of new construction and revitalization projects going on, but all of this progress means nothing if it doesn’t also help our communities. That’s why the Construction Science Expo is so important. It gives our youth hands-on exposure to the opportunities going on all around them. The students that attended the CSE now have a clear path to a rewarding career.”

Lindsay Curtis, MDOT Workforce Development Team

“MDOT has several programs to help our youth find the underserved need in their communities, and to find worthwhile careers in the process.”

Austin Fisher, Mining Engineer, Michigan Paving and Materials Co., Stone Co., and Cadillac Asphalt

“Stone Co. operates in 40 states and 36 countries. After you get your foot in the door, you can work pretty much anywhere. What we offer aren’t just jobs. These are careers that you can spend a lifetime working in. Your career progression is also a central concern to us. After just six months working with us, we pay for continued education and will pay off any college debts.”