Spokane Journal of Business

Inland ABC chapter plans Construction Career Days

Organization anticipates 800 students will attend

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The Associated Builders and Contractors Inland Pacific Chapter is gearing up for its 2019 Construction Career Days, to be held Oct. 23 and 24 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

Sarah Cottam, vice president of member services at ABC Inland Pacific, says the goal of the event is to provide high school students with access to information and apprenticeship opportunities in the Spokane-area construction industry.

“We invite 1,200 (students),” Cottam says, adding that in past years, roughly 800 students have attended the event each year.

Students in attendance will be able to operate heavy equipment, such as cranes, scissor-lifts, and backhoes, under the supervision of experienced operators, Cottam adds. 

“We’re trying to broaden students’ horizons,” she says. “The goal is trying to show these kids that there’s a career out there.”

Attendees can receive hands-on demonstrations of welding, drywalling, and bricklaying, and can view a commercial painting simulator, she says.

ABC will host its own workshop on different tools and how to use them, Cottam adds.

Students also will be able to visit vendor and information booths to learn more about community college programs and apprenticeships for which they can apply.

In total, Cottam says the event tends to have at least 60 vendors in attendance. 

She didn’t have current data for this year’s attendees but says vendor attendance is expected to be around 60 again this year.

If an ABC member organization cannot attend, Cottam says ABC will host a presentation for the organization with the goal of ensuring that students are aware of all available contractor positions in the Spokane area.

Participating members include Champion Concrete Pumping & Conveying, Phoenix Co., Lydig Construction Inc., Garco Construction Inc., the Construction Industry Training Council, and R&R Heating & Air Conditioning, Cottam says.

Phoenix Co. owner Lynn Reynolds says the company will have mobile welding trucks set up at the event, so students can try their hand at the craft. 

Event orientation will begin at 8 a.m. on Oct. 23, Cottam says, and presentations wrap up around 2 p.m. each day.

Reynolds says, “We have got to start promoting the trades and not just have kids going to college to be computer experts. It’s an emergency. We cannot (find) people that can work with their hands in the field.”

Natasha Nellis
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Reporter Natasha Nellis joined the Journal in May 2018 and covers real estate and construction. Natasha is an avid reader and loves taking photos, traveling, and learning new languages.

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