Nearly 600 students from 19 school districts around the Broome-Tioga region took part in a day-long event October 8 to learn firsthand what awaits them in the construction career field.
The Southern Tier Construction Career Day was conducted at the Broome County Highway Department facility in Chenango Bridge and featured exhibits by a variety of organizations and schools associated with the construction industry as well as trade displays and heavy equipment demonstrations. For many students, the hands-on experience included the opportunity for supervised operation of equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes and dump trucks.
Construction Career Day is designed to introduce high school students to the career opportunities and unlimited potential for advancement within the construction industry. While geared toward 11th- and 12th-grade students, 10th-graders were also welcome (participants needed to be at least 16 years old to operate the equipment).
The event is organized by a consortium of groups, including the New York State Department of Transportation, the Broome County Highway Department, Broome-Tioga Workforce New York, Broome-Tioga BOCES and several local companies and trade unions involved in the construction industry.
The program is directly supported by the Federal Highway Administration through the NYSDOT, which provides a grant to help fund the program around New York state. The grant includes costs for busing, insurance and lunch. In addition, Broome-Tioga Workforce New York provides grant funding to offset costs associated with the event. There is no cost to the schools.
In addition to Broome County, the program is currently run in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica.