MONROE, Ohio – When Jackson Rice describes the construction site he is in in Monroe, he looks more like a skilled supervisor than a high school student.
“They dig five to six inches more to get the lumber back in there to build the forms, so when the concrete is poured, it will rest against the forms and make it level,” Rice said.
This kind of real-world experience is exactly what the elder Butler Tech was hoping for.
“I’ve always wanted to do this; I’ve always wanted to practice,” Rice said.
Baker Concrete Construction runs a summer training program that allows students like Rice to see what a career in the industry looks like. For the company, the advantage in a tight labor market is twofold.
“(It’s) available now with the potential to make a lot of money down the road,” said Tonya Beesley, regional director of human resources at Baker. “We’ve exposed them to people who have become superintendents, water pump managers who have no college education, and I’m certainly not claiming that you don’t go to college, but it’s not for everyone, and I think we know that. “
Beesley said the summer training program is helping the company recruit more young people and change the perception of what these jobs really mean.
“There is a misconception of what they do: you don’t make money; it’s dirty; it’s hard work, ”she said.
Rice might get his hands dirty working in construction, but he also works full time, earns $ 15 an hour, and learns about a variety of different options for his future.
“When I go into a trades area, I don’t want to stick to just one trade; I want to be able to expand and do a little bit of everything,” Rice said.
Beesley recalled that students in the training program gain experience on a number of different projects.
“They tore up the bed of the trailer and replaced it, painted it, did some restoration work,” she said. work on our forms systems. “
For more information on Butler Tech’s construction program, click or tap here.