By sponsoring a team in the finals of a nationwide construction competition for high-school students, equipment manufacturer John Deere is hoping to help open more young people's eyes to the professional opportunities available in the construction industry.
"With more than a million new jobs available by 2012, our industry is booming, yet the workforce is continually shrinking with the retirement of baby boomers," says Jim Orr, director of marketing, John Deere Construction & Forestry. "Our hope is that this event will challenge these young people while conveying to them the tremendous opportunity that awaits in the world of construction."
Developed by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), in partnership with Destination ImagiNation, the Construction Challenge focuses on three areas — awareness of construction-related jobs, construction equipment and manufacturing, and infrastructure awareness.
The challenge includes six regional events, to be held in January in California, Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. The winning teams will then advance to the Construction Challenge finals, to be held in March at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas, where each team will be sponsored by an AEM member.