Students of today, builders of tomorrow
Some 230 high school teams took part in the Association of Equipment Manufacturers‘ (AEM) Construction Challenge, a creative problem-solving program, earlier this month. The challenge, now in its second year, introduces students to the skills they could be using in construction equipment manufacturing plants and on construction job sites in the coming years.
AEM’s goal: to develop future designers, builders and operators of construction and other off-road equipment.
Students who participate in the Construction Challenge rallies learn about careers related to the equipment manufacturing industry, which includes 2,000 companies manufacturing, selling or operating equipment.
Fifteen regional qualifying rallies for the challenge were staged with the goal of engaging teens through a hands-on, educational experience and to introduce them to careers as engineers, equipment technicians and manufacturing professionals.
The challenge offers an opportunity for students, teachers, parents and community leaders to learn more about available industry careers and how critical off-road equipment is to creating and maintaining our quality of life, according to AEM.
The construction industry has been concerned about meeting the demand for trained workers as a large portion of its current work force enters retirement. The proposed federal economic stimulus package, which aims to create jobs as well as provide governments with funds to complete badly needed infrastructure projects, could dramatically increase the need for workers skilled in building and/or operating construction and other off-road equipment.
“The Construction Challenge was created as a platform to educate students and the public about rewarding, interesting and lucrative career opportunities,” AEM President Dennis Slater said. “We want to attract even more young people to help solve our problems with innovative and creative ideas. While our nation’s leaders are planning for the creation of millions of jobs, we are focused on what we can do to help develop this growing skilled work force.
“The success of the stimulus package, the rebuilding of our infrastructure and the training of millions of workers will be directly related to the success of future generations of Americans. The Construction Challenge is one way our industry is helping prepare and invest in that future. We also hope everyone has a little fun and gets inspired along the way.”
For more information about the Construction Challenge, visit http://www.constructionchallenge.org.