Build My Future event exposes area students to construction field

A total of 751 students from 41 schools in seven Eastern Iowa counties have signed up to attend the fourth annual Build My Future-ACE Career Day & Industry Showcase on April 25 at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City.

Hosted by Future Builders of Iowa, this event will give 7th-12th grade students an opportunity to spend a day in the construction industry through an interactive showcase.

Hands-on learning labs – led by volunteers from area construction companies – include construction industry practices, such as carpentry, plumbing, heavy equipment, masonry, drywall and more. There also will be educational displays and equipment operations. Learning about the construction trade shows students an alternative path to a four-year college degree and lets them test-drive different careers.

“Perhaps the biggest challenge for builders and general contractors right now is the lack of skilled workers,” said Iowa City Area Home Builders Association Vocational Training Council board member Tim Ruth of McCreedy-Ruth Construction, in a release. “Informing students about the construction trade while they’re in school allows them time to learn more about the field, find what peaks their interests and explore how it can be a viable choice for them.”

Sponsors for the event are The Greater Iowa City Area HBA Vocational Training Council, The Cedar Rapids HBA and Kirkwood Community College. Additionally, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) awarded a $2,500 grant from its National Housing Endowment Fund. Several local and state businesses are supporting the event through funds and as exhibitors.