Construction

Trying to decide what career path to take can be challenging for high schoolers, but one local event aims to help by introducing students to one continuously growing industry: construction.

Arcadia High joined dozens of other schools at the 20th annual Arizona Construction Career Days (AZCCD) at the National Guard Base Park on McDowell Road in Phoenix. The two-day event was organized by the Association for Construction Career Development and sponsored by Rosendin, the largest employee-owned, privately-held electrical contracting company in the U.S.

Rosendin Training Coordinator Aimee Olmedo said that the company has been in Arizona since 1994 and offers a safe, welcoming, and inclusive workplace, making it an excellent choice for high schoolers exploring future careers in construction.

“Rosendin became involved with AZCCD because we want to change the construction industry,” Olmedo said. “With an aging workforce and an unprecedented amount of work opportunities, we need to do a better job of educating students that construction offers far more than what is stereotypically assumed to be a construction job.”

Approximately 3,000 students from across the Valley visited the state’s largest construction event for high school students, exposing more young people to the industry’s long list of career opportunities.

That included Rosendin’s booth, where local students learned about STEM careers with computer modeling demos and hands-on activities such as basic electrical wiring, fabricating tubes and bending electrical conduits. The company made the most of this opportunity to show students how electrical apprenticeships can set the foundation for long-lasting careers. 

“The response from the students was overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive,” Olmedo said. “They engaged in the activities offered at the event and appreciated the opportunity to see all the different career options.”

The Arizona Department of Education, Federal Highway Administration, and Arizona Department of Transportation, which also supported the event, has welcomed over 34,000 students over the last 20 years.

It’s come a long way since the first career days in 1999 when the event was spearheaded by industry leaders who created the Association for Construction Career Development to increase skilled workers in highway construction. As the event grew, it became increasingly evident that the organization needed additional resources to make students, teachers, and career counselors aware of the numerous opportunities in the construction industry. 

Over the years, there have been more than 400 exhibitor displays and 500 pieces of equipment highlighted, which helps connect students with construction industry professionals. Community partnerships like Rosendin make a big difference to the organizers, who can ensure a wide range of opportunities covering all aspects of the building industry.

“Nearly every sector is represented at the event: concrete, electrical, traditional and underwater welding, traffic control, framing, heavy equipment, landscaping, plumbing, general contracting, and colleges and universities offering applicable degrees and certificates,” Olmedo said. “You name it, and somebody is there with a booth educating students about what their sector and company have to offer.”

One of the most important takeaways for students is that the construction industry offers office and field positions, where employees can work their way up and make a good living.

“Students should know that the construction industry is booming, with no slowdown in sight in the immediate future and a minimum of 10% growth by the end of the decade,” Olmedo said. “Students should also know that working in the construction industry isn’t just a job. It is a career. The growth potential in this industry is limitless.”

azccd.com