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Building Trades Day

More than 700 high school students were on campus at the University of Notre Dame on Friday, exploring what a career in the trades looks like. More than 60 contractors showcased their work, with videos, virtual reality, and demonstrations. They explained what it really means to be part of the trades. Building Trades Day.

All students who came to campus today are already in a career and technical education, or CTE, program or class, so the trades are not completely new to them.

Each company here got to show what they do, some providing simulations, videos, pictures, and demonstrations.

The future of community growth relies on the trades to construct, operate, and execute day to day operations. And there is a huge need for workers in those trades.

Kate Lee, Executive Director of Education and Workforce, South Bend Regional Chamber says, “There’s 100 of what they call mega-projects happening across the country, and fully 1/3 of them are in Indiana and the surrounding states, so there’s a huge demand.”

This is why the South Bend Regional Chamber partnered with the University of Notre Dame to present Building Trades Day, an inaugural event for high school students to see what the trades offer.

It also helps companies find future workers.

“Notre Dame This is self-serving for us. We want to make sure our contractors are thriving. Who’s going to build the next generation of Notre Dame,” asked Tony Polotto, Senior Director of Construction, University of Notre Dame.

Several contractors at the event play a role in campus construction.

Students who attended got to see some of that construction first hand and then visited with those companies.

“With all the craftsmanship that’s being done right now, The people can say here’s big construction that last two years to get done with the project. And look at the quality of craftsmanship,” said Polotto.

This event wasn’t just for students.

Another session also targeted parents and other adults in the community to ask their questions.

There is a nationwide shortage of contractors and tradesmen.

“There was a strong push for four-year college, which veered us away from the trades. It’s almost like we can’t do anything in a balanced way. We go “all four-year college” or “all trades”, right? But to know that trades aren’t saying you’re never going to college. There are people who go to college and then go into the trades,” said Kate Lee, South Bend Regional Chamber Executive Director of Education and Workforce.

Those in the trades are doing what they can to build an idea of a career for young students.

“Now with the cost of college, and the opportunities there are in the trades, college is basically paid for through the construction companies through the unions, and it’s a great opportunity,” said Greg Seiss, Midland Engineering VP Operations.

This event was not just meant for high school students. Parents were also able to visit with these companies and ask their own questions.

Source: Building Trades Day

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