18 industry experts help eleventh graders explore a career in construction


GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) – The second district-wide construction career day attracts hundreds of District 51’s eleventh graders. Students learn skills and safety precautions tied to work in the industry.

Construction companies show that jobs in this field can be for guys and girls.

“For some girls like me, I would like to keep going with it so I can teach other girls and teach other people,” Aspiring Construction Worker Hierome Mendoca shares, “Just the experience here has been amazing.”

The hands-on stations hosted by 18 industry experts give pupils a career to consider before graduation.

“A career in construction can start for someone as young as 18 years old,” Cora Dickey reports, “The career day serves as a bridge for them to start their career in construction or continue the education by majoring in civil engineering.”

Colorado Mesa University’s extensive program for civil engineering allows students to explore this career, starting freshman year.

Following his dad’s footsteps in construction, CMU Senior Nic Merelli says majoring in civil engineering was the best decision he made for pursuing his top career choice

“I got my internship when I was a sophomore,” CMU Senior Nic Merelli recalls, “Instead of going in as a manual laborer I was doing quality control, quality insurance and even into design.

At the end of it all, the biggest takeaway organizers hope for is showing how a construction career can be for anyone.

“A lot of kids today or trying to shy away from hands-on. They think the industry is dirty and unskilled and that’s just not the case,” Western Colorado Contractors Association President Derek Hamilton describes, “I think they’re gonna learn that it takes a lot of pride to these jobs. It takes a lot of pride and a lot of hard work to get the jobs done.”

Construction keeps building up with many jobs open now.

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