Annual Construction Pro Rodeo Gives Students a Look at Jobs

The event was designed by the Connecticut Associated Builders and Contractors and its member companies to give high school student a hands-on look at careers in the construction industry. Many of those jobs do not require four year college degrees.

More than 1,000 high school students from around the state got to meet with – and see the work of - representatives from electrical, plumbing and HVAC companies.

Leaders of the event said there is a significant national shortage of workers qualified to do many of the jobs showcased at the rodeo.

“It’s estimated that by 2022, nationwide 1 in every 6 current construction workers will have left the industry, creating a tremendous workforce shortage,” Chris Syrek, president of Connecticut Associated Builders and Contractors, said.

That means demand for people who do the jobs showcased at the rodeo could be higher than ever in the coming years.

Many of the positions also pay very well early on.

“The opportunity is there for people, especially in the licensed trades, to earn $50, $60, $70 an hour on these construction jobs,” Syrek said.

Students at the event said they appreciated the opportunity to learn firsthand about jobs they might not have otherwise considered.

“I think it’s very informative. I think a lot of people learn more about maybe what they want to do in the future. Maybe change their career path,” Bryan Keene, a junior at Platt High School, said.

“As important as a four-year education is, there’s always different opportunities out there and not everybody is college bound,” Billy Rich, a technical education teacher at Platt, said.

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