Teaching a hands-on career path to our future generation
Local kids design + build, keeping carpentry alive
The future generation seems geared toward being fully consumed by technology by the time they are the ones callin’ the shots. Most kids will enter school programs and career paths that are technologically driven, and will find themselves working on computers for the rest of their lives.
This outlook may seem less obvious for the more hands-on industries like agriculture, art, and construction, but even they are seeing technology become more and more necessary to staying current and profitable.
The construction industry in particular is evolving to provide a unique position that offers balance between hands-on work and technology. There are many opportunities in this trade to grow in technology; in fact, technology plays a huge role right now - from drawing software and communications to project management, remote cameras and shared software - builders are able to share and access information to elevate the design-build process all around.
Using technology for communication is especially key. General contractors find themselves needing to be able to translate new ideas to their team in the field as well as to the clients. Most people learn by seeing and touching, so it is vital to provide a visual experience. For example, our team at House uses 3-D technology to enhance the visual experience we provide to our clients as they go through the design-build process with us.
As the construction industry continues to experience an evolution led by technology, the next generation of hands-on workers will be required to be both handy and tech savvy if they plan to grow in the business.
A program called “My Career. My Life.” by local non-profit YouthEntity is helping elementary and high school students in the Roaring Fork Valley to find the best career path for their interests. This year they have partnered with us to offer a construction industry internship, along with other local industry partnerships offering internships in law enforcement, acting, art and more.
This program gives students an action plan with feedback along the way that is specific to their individual interests, providing the opportunity to achieve higher levels of mastery through authentic real-world experiences.
The students working with us identified a design challenge and learned how to design and build a solution around it. The kids designed a house (or used the ones they live in) to build a miniature house to scale. They applied real world techniques and learn how to work in a positive team environment, producing a final product both they and us were all very proud of.
Heather Hicks, Associate Director of YouthEntity shared “It's always inspiring to work with Chris. House. Chris operates with a community-mindedness and is willing to help in any way that he can, like volunteering with our students. Even though he is busy, Chris is still making time to give back by mentoring local kids who have an interest in the construction field and sharing all that he knows with the next generation.”
This internship, more than anything, aims to teach students the importance behind the construction industry and their individual potential to be part of an evolving field.
This is a business dominated by older people, primarily males, so younger people will bring a new level of excitement to an old but evolving trade. Hopefully more girls get involved too - many women are hard workers but have never been exposed to the trades, and they respond with a lot of enthusiasm and create good solutions to old problems.
According to the Gallup Student Poll, a survey measuring student’s hope for the future, engagement with school, and well-being - factors that have been shown to drive students' grades, achievement scores, retention, and future employment. Based on national data collected during the Fall 2013 administration, 54% of students who participated are Hopeful, 55% are Engaged, and 66% have thriving Well-Being.
For more information about the program, visit http://www.youthentity.org/my-career-my-life/.