By Joe Riedel, Director of Business Development at Straub Construction
Roughly 800 students attended, ranging from Freshmen to Seniors.
We regularly attend these types of events – not only to attract and recruit future Straub employees, but also to help draw attention to the industry in general. It is widely known that the construction industry faces a major talent gap, and we applaud the efforts of the local school districts in working with community businesses to address these challenges.
We show up and spread the word… careers in construction are highly rewarding. I could write about that. However, tons of people already have, and it’s in the news regularly.
This career fair was a reminder of how important it is to steer kids toward their passion, whatever it may be.
Of course, we’re grateful for all the students who dropped by to talk about construction. But we also had quite a few visitors who had no idea what they want to do after high school. These were mainly the freshmen and sophomores we met.
It was such a joy to talk to these students. We opened every conversation by asking, “What do you really love to do?” As you can imagine, the answers varied widely and made the day memorable. Some of these students will go on to pursue four-year degrees, and some will not. And that is great either way depending on the reasons behind the decision.
For every potential career path, we were able to offer consistent advice:
- Follow your passion, but be sure to do a little research first.
- Spend your summers working in jobs that will give you exposure to these fields. When in high school, you may not be able to get certain jobs. But, anything close to the field should be their goal.
- Seek out and speak with people who do that kind of work for a living and get their advice. One great question to ask them… “What is the best, most direct path to get me into this career?” The answer may be a traditional college, a two-year associates degree, or it may even be a paid apprenticeship program right out of high school.