Construct Tomorrow Happening at the DECC

DULUTH, Minn. – Hundreds of high school students are getting the chance this week to learn more about jobs in the trades industry at the DECC.

Construct Tomorrow brings together organizations that are looking to hire young workers in fields ranging from excavating, to roofing, to painting and carpentry.  The need for new workers in the trades has been a top priority in recent years, with the pandemic causing this to increase.

“More than one-third of northeast Minnesota’s construction work force is within a decade or less or retirement,” says Elena Foshay, Director of Workforce Development for the City of Duluth.  “And only 15-precent of construction workers currently is under the age of 25.  So what this means is that for every two skilled construction workers that are getting ready to retire only one is entering the trades to fill in.”

Wednesday saw students from Duluth’s two public high schools, Denfeld and East, take part.  Anthony Bonds, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching, Learning and Equity for Duluth Public Schools says they have been working with organizations to get juniors and seniors involved in the workforce during their school days to help fill this need.

“As students progress through their desired pathways they continue to work and learn right beside expert learners in the classroom and in the field,” says Bonds.  “Without a doubt, we must provide our students with these opportunities and experiences to prepare them to pursue their dreams.  And we have to stop pitting college and the trades against one another, because both are equally valuable and necessary.”

Over a dozen other high schools from across northeast Minnesota will take part Thursday.

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