Skilled to Work: Construction companies introduce high school students to the industry

Nearly 120 high school students were introduced to the construction industry as an alternative to college.

Posted: Apr 9, 2018 5:29 PM

EUGENE, Ore. - Employers throughout western Oregon are facing a critical situation. They're losing qualified employees to retirement and struggling to find skilled replacements. That's why KEZI partnered with industry leaders in the "skilled to work" campaign.

Four Lane County construction companies teamed up to introduce the world of construction to Springfield High School students.

Nearly 120 students toured a mine site and a concrete plant last week. They had the opportunity to operate a trackhoe and learned more about the industry.

Wildish Sand and Gravel said up until a few years ago, it had more than 600 employees, but now they only have about 350. The goal of the program was to get younger people interested in the trade and to think of construction as an alternative to college.

"I'm definitely going to look into this," said Haley Barshaw, a senior at Springfield High School. "I've heard that some jobs here, they just hire you right after high school, you don't have experience or anything and they teach you here."

Students also learned about how to be a good interviewee, how to be safe in the field, and the importance of keeping a clean driving record and being drug-free.

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