AZ Guard, local leaders host students at Construction Days

AZ Guard, local leaders host students at Construction Days

Students from around Arizona gathered at Papago Park Military Reservation, Nov. 3, for the 2016 Arizona Construction Career Days, hosted by the Arizona National Guard and the Association for Construction Career Development. This event helps educate young students on possible careers in the construction field and related trades. Over 2,000 students met with professionals from trades including plumbing, engineering, welding and heavy machine operators to gain first-hand knowledge of these lucrative jobs.

PHOENIX—Over 2,000 middle and high school students from around the state traveled to Papago Park Military Reservation Nov. 3-4 to gain first-hand knowledge of construction sciences careers.


Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire and members of the Association for Construction Career Development welcomed bus after bus of Arizona’s potential future construction sciences employees who will bolster the state’s economy for years to come.


“It’s our job to make sure that our kids in our local communities know what is available, how valuable their contribution is to our society,” McGuire said.


Over 70 sponsors and exhibitors as well as Arizona Army National Guardsmen made it possible for these students to come learn about the various, exciting, and growing career fields that Arizona companies can provide once they enter the workforce.


“In the next decade the world population will have grown by a billion people, and guess what they are going to need?” said Jeffrey Fleetham, Director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. “Houses, bridges, roads, and schools who hopefully have all sorts of classrooms to learn the construction sciences professions. It’s these future generations that will build them.”


Cadi Angeli, Arizona 2016 Counselor of the Year, noted that education and knowledge of these career fields begins with an investment in schools and teachers.


“We should be interested in setting kids up to look in the right place for careers that match them for the right reasons,” Angeli said. “Middle school is actually where students begin to be exposed to Career and Technical Education programs … like engineering and construction.”  


Students had the opportunity to speak with and learn about architects, carpenters, electricians, engineers, iron working, plumbers and plasterers as well as learn about apprenticeships that lead to high-paying, in-demand positions all around the state.


“Some students aren’t interested in continuing on with college immediately after high school and they seemed more passionate about working with their hands,” said Patty Prelich, a counselor at the Desiderata Alternative Program School.


But civilian employment in construction and engineering and the associated trades isn’t the only avenue for gaining valuable experience in these fields. The Arizona National Guard also offers positions that range from combat engineers and quarry specialists to engineering supervisor and horizontal construction engineers.


Positions like these ensure that guardsmen not only have excellent advantages to gaining civilian employment, but also maintains a force to support the state in time of emergency such as floods and wildfires.


Arizona Construction Career Days allows Arizona youth to look into career paths in the construction sciences, both in their communities and in the Arizona Army National Guard.