Youth explore the construction trades

By Amanda Staley, Ohio State University Extension 4-H Educator

Twenty youth attended the 5th annual Career Exploration Workshop – Construction Trades on April 29th at TriRivers Career Center.

The group of students rolled-up their sleeves and got their hands dirty while learning about different kinds of construction trade occupations. According to many participants, the favorite session of the day was when they operated heavy equipment which included a backhoe, dozer, and boom lift.

Sessions two and three put their building skills to the test. They constructed a small framing project and built a sheep hay feeder. 

The fourth session focused on electricity. Participants completed the steps to wire an electrical socket into an electrical box that was attached to a wood frame.

Eight teens from the Construction Trades Academy program at TriRivers helped to teach the participants what skills they need to know to complete their tasks at hand. Instructors David Willey and Jason Campbell determined what tasks were completed. They also provided information to the youth and their families about what occupations are available and how to get the training needed to have a successful career in the construction trades.

On a workshop evaluation, participants commented that it was a good time, fun, and would like to come back. Workshop participants ranged from 5th to 10th grade and represented Crawford, Delaware, Knox, Morrow, and Richland counties.

This workshop was created and planned by Amanda Staley, OSU Extension 4-H Educator, and David Willey, TriRivers Construction Trades Academy instructor. They wanted youth to have a hands-on, day-long, opportunity to learn new skills while also being given the information needed to decide whether a job in the construction trades is or isn’t right for them. 

Since the first workshop was offered, six youth that got their start at the workshop have graduated from the TriRivers Construction Trades Program. For more information about workshops like this or to suggest another career that we need youth to explore, contact Amanda Staley,

If you are a business or school that would like to hold a workshop like this for welding, please contact Amanda Staley.

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