If you ask anyone in your local skilled trades profession about their business, a frequent response is, “Business is great! My only problem is I can’t find skilled workers in my industry.” The response is consistent throughout the construction industry (builders, electricians, plumbers, welders, landscapers, etc.) in both the residential and commercial sectors. With a common goal in mind, the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Central Missouri and the Association of General Contractors of Missouri (AGCMO) teamed up to host the first-ever Build My Future event in central Missouri on October 20, 2021.
Having success in Springfield, Des Moines, and other locations, the Build My Future event was designed to allow trade professionals to demonstrate what makes their trade unique and exciting to young men and women that are preparing to graduate from high school.
The October 20th event at Jaycee Fair Grounds was no exception. With over 800 students from all around central Missouri in attendance, the inaugural event was very successful! Students were able to get hands-on experience with heavy equipment, finish work, concrete stamping, welding, robotics, and carpentry, to name a few. The range of possibilities for a successful career in the trades industry, which has become an unorthodox path, was made clearer for every student in attendance.
The students eagerly went from booth to booth, climbing makeshift roofs, using a track hoe to knock tennis balls off traffic cones, stamping sand to simulate concrete, building structures, welding, transplanting plants, and operating heavy machinery. The experiences gained through this event are something these young people will carry with them for years to come.
It is so important for the students to realize that college isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. There are many opportunities to build a successful career in the trades industry. Even a small percentage of these talented young adults joining the skilled trades will make a huge impact on the workforce, and the economy, for the state of Missouri. It’s safe to say the event was a huge success, even being visited and endorsed by Governor Mike Parson. The future of our state looks bright with the influence of these energetic young workers.