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Constructing a future

Career day at the Fair shines a light on construction field for students

More than 400 area high school students attended a career fair at the Empire Expo Center last week to explore education, employment and manufacturing exhibits related to skilled construction work.

The second annual Syracuse Area Construction Career Day on Thursday Oct. 16 at the Fairgrounds joined students from across the region with colleges, industry leaders and manufacturers to inform students about the availability of construction careers. Outside the Pepsi International Building, a variety of construction equipment was available for students to explore and operate.

Many participating students in attendance were already working towards a construction career. Amber Ricker, of Phoenix said after climbing down from a backhoe that she was currently training to be a constructional welder. At the career day Ricker said she learned a lot about the safety aspect of the construction field.

Seniors from East Syracuse Minoa also said they also were already training in school for construction-based careers, and took advantage to the expo last week to learn about college programs in the field.

Other students were more interested in what awaited them outside the building, where they were able to explore various types of construction equipment and in many cases run the machinery.

Jasmine Brown, a tenth grader at SRA, said she had not been considering a future in the field until she had the chance to run a Bobcat Thursday.

"That was fun," Brown said after ten minutes of pushing gravel.

According to the National Construction Career Days Center, about 952,000 vacancies in skilled construction jobs throughout the United States stand to be filled. The average construction worker in the United States is 48 years old and as baby boomers age towards retirement the younger work force is primed to fill the openings.

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