Guard hosts Arizona Construction Career Days for students

Guard hosts Arizona Construction Career Days for students

High school students visit with exhibitors during Arizona Construction Career Days Nov. 6, at Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix. The event, hosted by the Arizona National Guard, gave students an opportunity to learn about different careers available in the construction industry. (U.S. Army Photo by Brian A. Barbour)

PHOENIX - The Arizona National Guard hosted the 12th annual Arizona Construction Career Days Nov. 6 and 7, at Papago Park Military Reservation here.


The event was a collaboration of more than 55 community partners who provided hands-on construction-related experience to over 1,800 high school students from 83 schools throughout Arizona.


“This is the largest construction event in the state that reaches out to youth and provides workforce development tools and has contractors that are ready to hire,” said Rose Ann Canizales, president of the Association for Construction Career Development. “Not only are we planting seeds for the youth, but we are partnering with Arizona leadership for their support.”


A collaboration of prominent industry leaders, legislators, educators, and military leaders attended a reception on the first day of the event to discuss and highlight the importance of public-private partnerships in support of education and workforce development for youth.


“Together we build a strong nation, a strong Arizona, and a strong community,” said Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, the Adjutant General for Arizona. “The men and women of the Arizona National Guard are proud to welcome young adults to Papago Park Military Reservation each year while they explore construction-related career opportunities.”


“Construction Career Days are a valuable investment in our state’s up-and-coming work force; young people who may one day play an important role in building the Arizona of tomorrow either though service in the Arizona National Guard, or through contributions to the construction industry, or both. We are honored to participate in this partnership with the community we serve.”


The Arizona National Guard shares the ACCD’s vision, which is to “Build Tomorrow’s Workforce Today” by providing construction experience, as well as career and technical education resources as a career guide for students. “It is fun and interesting to learn about all the aspects of construction,” said Nirvana Solano, a Sun Valley High School student.


Guard engineers are dedicated and committed to educating youth and providing students with real life applications in the construction industry. Exhibitors walked students through jobs such as cement mixing, estimating projects, pipe designing, and constructing brick walls.


“This is a great opportunity for students to engage and interact with several exhibitors that range from workforce development and education tools to operating heavy equipment machinery,” said Jon Zinger, a professor at Sun Valley High School. “This is a great starting point for youth, and last year we had a student hired on the spot.”