Colorado Chapter Builds interest in construction careers
The Building Futures committee of the Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council expanded its efforts to introduce high school students to the various trades of construction careers
The Building Futures committee of the Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council (CCICC) expanded its efforts to introduce high school students to the various trades of construction careers by holding the Building Futures with a Career in Construction event in Montrose, Colorado, on March 17, 2022. This event was the first of its kind for Montrose, but the committee’s second location as they have held similar events in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for several years with great success. In the past, students who have attended these events have been hired by the participating companies for both summer jobs and for full-time employment.
Sparked by the interest to put together their own careers in construction event, the Montrose community reached out to the Building Futures committee; Dan Reardon, a building inspector with CCICC, collaborated with the Montrose County School District to plan the event. Due to COVID, the partnership had a couple of extra years to plan for the first annual event and once news got out that the event was happening, there was no lack of organizations willing to participate to teach about the building and construction industry. Volunteers from CCICC, teachers and other local programs guided more than 500 high school students around the 50 interactive stations to get their hands dirty installing wiring, drilling screws and laying concrete — many for the first time — and experience what the industry has to offer.
Hands-on experience with construction careers
The Friendship Hall County Facility that was chosen for this year’s event had some features that needed repair. To assist the facility and reinforce the event’s intentions, the maintenance staff of Friendship Hall allowed attendees to improve and/or repair the features to show students how the construction trades work in everyday life.
The students were able to perform the following projects:
- Gazebo: installed new decking, added railing and added bracing – students not only installed but also cut the materials
- Slab for stalls: students poured two slabs and leveled and finished them
- Slab repairs: students poured, leveled and finished a sidewalk repair
The student participants also completed the construction of three sheds with materials generously donated by Alpine Lumber. These student-built sheds were then donated to the school to be auctioned off to raise funds for a repeat of this event in the future.
The Olathe High School not only participated by sending students to the event but their shop class constructed demonstration walls that were used by participating groups to install plumbing, electrical, drywall and more. This valuable experience, led by teacher TeeJay Rose, gave students the opportunity to figure out how plates and studs work together when constructing walls — Rose explained that the students had to solve how not to split the studs when installing the top plates.
Endorsing construction careers
This event was truly a community effort. Not only did companies want to attend and have a booth but many of them donated materials and money, which helped the success of the event. Various programs in the school district supported the event too, like the culinary program that provided lunch for all participants and volunteers.
The saying, “It takes a village to raise a child” really was taken to heart for this event. The Montrose community truly took the time and made the tremendous effort to put together the Building Futures with a Career in Construction event for the young adults of the Montrose area.
The Building Futures Committee’s mission
The Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council created the Building Futures committee with a mission to reach out and empower the next generation of code officials and construction professionals. The committee provides education about building construction, the International Codes and building safety.
The Building Futures Committee has worked to introduce several high schools to the Code Council’s Technical Training Program, which offers students a flexible curriculum based on the International Residential Code and enables schools and instructors to integrate the program to better prepare students for careers in the construction field.