Youth explore construction trades


MARION — Twenty youths attended the fifth-annual Career Exploration Workshop on April 29, held at the Tri-Rivers Career Center, to learn more about construction trades.

The youth rolled up their sleeves and got their hands dirty while learning about different kinds of construction trade occupations. According to many youths, the favorite session of the day was when they operated heavy equipment which included a backhoe, dozer and boom lift.

Sessions two and three put their building skills to the test, and they constructed a small framing project and built a sheep hay feeder. The fourth session focused on electricity, and the participants completed the steps to wire an electrical socket into an electrical box that was attached to a wood frame.

Eight teens from the Construction Trades Academy Program at Tri-Rivers helped to teach the participants what skills they need to know to complete their tasks at hand. Instructors David Willey and Jason Campbell determined what tasks were completed. They also provided information to the youth and their families about what occupations are available and how to get the training needed to have a successful career in the construction trades.

On a workshop evaluation, participants commented that they “loved it,” the workshop was “awesome,” and expressed interest in coming back again. Workshop participants ranged from fifth to 10th-grade students and represented Crawford, Delaware, Knox, Morrow, and Richland counties.

The workshop was created and planned by Amanda Staley, an OSU Extension 4-H educator, and David Willey, a Tri-Rivers Construction Trades Academy instructor. They wanted youth to have a hands-on, day-long opportunity to learn new skills while also being given the information needed to decide whether a job in the construction trades is or isn’t right for them.

Since the first workshop was offered, six youths who got their start at the workshop have gone on to graduate from the TriRivers Construction Trades Program.

For more information about workshops like this or to suggest another career the youth need to explore, contact Staley at [email protected].

Submitted by Amanda Staley.

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