Grant Update – Summer Construction Trades Exploration

Grant Update – Summer Construction Trades Exploration

Measure twice, cut once!

The Middle School Trades Exploration Pilot Program students mastered design, demolition, drywall, carpentry, and concrete work, all while team building and creating a professional quality, useful installation.

Summer Trades Exploration offered a four-week program connecting students to the construction trades. Thirty middle schoolers participated, and an additional fifty were on the waiting list to attend the pilot. The program was designed to bridge the opportunity gap for Beaverton School District students who may want to explore other high-wage, in-demand employment options outside of traditional college pathways as they move through their high school careers. In collaboration with industry partners, students designed and completed a construction project on-site at BSD Central Office, worked with multiple professionals in a variety of trades and visited real-time District building projects as part of this summer program. The program provided a hands-on educational foundation for students in the following areas:

  • Equipment safety
  • Industry safety procedures
  • Construction math skills
  • Basic drafting, design and building techniques

Regional industry growth in the area of construction expects employment openings to grow by 31% through 2022. Current projections challenge economic expansion in our state beyond the 2022 mark with the expectation that the trades will lose 17% of the workforce as older workers retire. Industry partners agree that engaging students at the middle school level in non-college-bound careers is a gap to bridge in order to meet workforce demand.

The pilot focused on three primary objectives:

1. Develop skills that carry over into the traditional classroom

  1. Summer program participants developed a building design project focusing on teamwork, creativity, and professional work skills
  2. Construction Technology incorporates core content skills that are critical in increasing student outcomes in math and reading
  3. Students benefit from a conceptual application to real-world hands-on problem solving.

2. Introduce Middle School students to CTE in our district

  1. This program helps build middle school interest in CTE programs across the district before students enter high school
  2. Nationally, 93% of all students who take one CTE class in high school graduate with their class
  3. We believe that a free summer program will attract families of all backgrounds.

3. Expose students to alternative high-wage, high-demand careers in construction industry

  1. Provide our middle school students opportunities to explore careers that they are not ordinarily exposed to in the classroom setting so they might add that experience to their career exploration tool belt before they enter 9th grade
  2. Exposure to Construction Technology also leads to other related fields such as design and engineering

Current partners in the work include:

Summer Construction Shovel GIF