Finding skilled workers continues to be a big issue for those in skilled trades professions. However, demand is at an all-time high. In an effort to improve this disparity, the Home Builders Association of Central Missouri (HBA) and the Association of General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) hosted the second annual Build My Future event for teens in Central Missouri on October 18th, 2022. After the success of last year’s event, the HBA and AGCMO decided to ramp things up a bit this year. With more than 1,200 kids attending this year’s event aimed at educating teens on their options after high school, it’s safe to say that the event was a huge success.
A lot of students don’t realize they have options outside of a traditional college path before visiting this event. At Build My Future, young people had the opportunity to speak with professionals in building and farming trades to discuss their experiences, and gain hands-on experience with many of the trade skills represented.
Students arrived on buses in the morning and spent the day working their way through the indoor and outdoor exhibits. They were able to try their hand at welding, pipe fitting, timber construction, bricklaying, excavating, landscaping, concrete finishing, utility locating and so much more. There were trade schools in attendance, in addition to local trades industry professionals. The students left this fun event with knowledge about non-traditional paths to successful careers and an understanding that deviating from a four-year university is a legitimate option.
We hope to see this even continue to grow and provide young people with the confidence to find a field they are passionate about while helping to grow the workforce for our local trades industries.