Business
9:40 am
Thu October 4, 2012

Encouraging careers in construction

The 8th Annual Western New York Construction Career Days continues in Lakeview Thursday. The two-day event is geared towards high school students and veterans.

The event offers students and veterans a first-hand look at what jobs in the trades entail.  WNY Construction Career Days Committee Chair John Magney said in many cases, schools are only directing students to college. 

"And as we all know we're not all cut out for college. You see these kids walk away from this event really thinking that this could be an opportunity for a career," said Magney.

Unemployment among veterans is 13-to-15-percent according to Erie Community College Veterans Coordinator Dan Frontera.  He said the event is a good way for veterans to show  employers what they have to offer. 

"It's great because you can take the skills  you used in the military.  Some of these guys are trained as         equipment operators or pipe fitters or carpenters in the military. But also take the skill set you learned with discipline. You're not going to find a person walking down the street that understands it's a mission, get it done, get it accomplished," said Frontera.

The prospects for employment appear to be good. Magney said there is a shortage in the trades now and it looks like its going to get worse.  

"The average age of a construction worker now I believe is about 46-years-old. So you can do the  math and see how short a time it's going to be before we run out of workers," said Magney.

Construction Career Days at the Operating Engineers Training Hall in Lakeview runs through 2:30 Thursday afternoon.