Beneath the Hard Hat
C.D. Smith Company Blog

Students Explore Building Careers & Construction Apprenticeships

Date: May 2, 2023 12:22:53 PM | Author: Tracy Lisowe

Registered construction apprenticeships are proven, industry-driven, high-quality career pathways. They're opportunities for us to build and train construction talent in the skilled trades, but we love it even more when we get students involved early to benefit as future apprentices.

Advanced construction class of high school students received mentorship and hands-on experiences in the skilled trades from C.D. Smith & industry experts.

Senior Superintendent Dan Loehr and Virtual Architectural Designer Egor Shalamov recently helped bring awareness to opportunities in the trades by presenting to an advanced construction class at Moraine Park Technical College in West Bend. Dan's son, Austin, is a junior at Kewaskum High School and kicks off the first two hours of his school day attending the Advanced Construction Class, comprised of West Bend East, West Bend West and Kewaskum High School students. When the instructor, Robert Willmas, asked Dan if he wanted to speak to two of his classes, he took him up on his offer and looped in some of the C.D. Smith team as well.

Students working on a tiny house in an advanced construction class in Wisconsin

Willmas had been trying to teach the differences between residential and commercial construction, but was finding it difficult with space restrictions and limited materials for providing hands-on experiences that engaged students in active comparisons. Dan and Egor helped fill that gap in two ways.

1» Dan discussed the details of our six signatory trades, some of which he related to the construction of a tiny house project that the classes had been working on throughout the school year. Loehr also talked about the opportunities available, the need for skilled labor and why they should consider working in the trades.

Tiny house built by students in advanced construction class in Wisconsin

2» Egor showed timelapse videos, photo illustrations and brought a virtual reality (VR) headset so that students could experience a "live" commercial construction site. Shalamov spoke about utilizing technology for improving accuracy and efficiencies in the building process, using everything from laser scanning to drone flights to capture new data and perspectives - all of which, ultimately, benefit our customers.

Students exploring commercial construction jobsites wearing virtual reality headsets

Through virtual reality, the students got firsthand exposure to project stages, the construction process and skilled trades in action from a safe environment. In addition to our presentation and completing the 2023 tiny house by the end of the school year, Willmas hopes to coordinate a visit to a large commercial jobsite.

Demand for construction remains strong and school-to-work mentorships and business partnerships help transition students to apprenticeships. Registered Apprenticeships give students and career seekers the opportunity to earn and learn in highly-skilled, high-demand occupations.

Students running heavy equipment at an operating engineers training facility in Wisconsin

Distinguishing factors of Registered Apprenticeships include:

🏗 Industry-led, vetted and approved
💰 Paid jobs with progressive wages
👷‍♂️ On-the-job training/mentorship
👨‍🏫 Supplemental classroom education
👐 DEIA | Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility
👷‍♀️ Quality and safety
⭐ Nationally-recognized credentials
Students running heavy equipment simulator at an operating engineers training facility in Wisconsin  
Senior Superintendent Loehr also attended the Wisconsin Operating Engineers' training facility in Coloma, Wisconsin for a four-hour annual event called 'Externship Day.' The Loehrs toured the site, attended presentations, did some simulator training and Austin even had the opportunity to run equipment in a practice area. 
Students running heavy equipment in virtual reality at an operating engineers training facility in Wisconsin 
Thank you to Dan, Egor and all of the skilled trades workers, construction leaders, teachers, advocates and business partners connecting with students to build awareness for opportunities in construction. Building our future starts with student involvement!

Date: May 2, 2023 | Author: Tracy Lisowe


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Tiny house, big progress: West Bend, Kewaskum students' work advances on Habitat for Humanity tiny house | Washington County Daily News 02.16.2023

Article about Wisconsin students building tiny house in Advanced Construction Class

Externship Day with Wisconsin Operating Engineers |OE 139 Training Center

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