The Construction & Manufacturing Career Fair held every year in Oklahoma City has partnered with the Central Oklahoma Workforce Initiative Board to expose more students to career choices in the construction industry through the Young Adult Empowerment Conference. The partnership could quadruple the number of students exposed to opportunities in the construction industry.
Last year the Construction & Manufacturing Career Fair had 143 attendees. The Central Oklahoma Workforce Board's career fair attracted 480 students.
"The expanded event will include other professions outside of construction, but all students will rotate through the construction area," says Felisha Pinkston, business and industry career development coordinator, Oklahoma City Public Schools. "Students will also have their pick of events and workshops offered throughout the career fair." Local employers will be on hand to provide information as well as immediate employment opportunities.
Students from seven high schools, three vocational schools and recaptured students in programs such as Job Corps will meet at Youth America Campground, a former training site for aviators. The site has five buildings and an outdoor covered pavilion where students will get an opportunity to see hands-on demonstrations and learn about a variety of career choices.
Heavy and highway construction will also be represented. "Warren Cat is lending heavy equipment, and ODOT is setting up areas to tie steel," says Andy Penny, ODOT. "Other mini work zones are also being set up."
This year's event will also include a 1-800-OKIE station, where students will learn about the flagging process that is necessary before digging for construction projects.
"Students love the hands-on experience," says Penny, who has participated in planning eight other career fairs. Past sessions have included employment skills, manufacturing, land surveying, computer-aided drafting, plumbing and pipefitting, building brick walls, and heavy highway construction.
Indoor events in the construction display will give students an idea of plan building, and information sessions about earning potential for the different career paths are also offered.