Investing in the Future of the Field
While construction provides a promising career path to many, today’s high school students seldom seem to consider the industry when weighing their professional options after graduation. Little exposure and limited understanding of the vast opportunities in the industry are both contributing factors for this impending decline, leaving many to think about the future of the field.
Knutson’s commitment to empowering our team members doesn’t only happen when you’re a direct part of Team Blue. We believe it starts by investing in the future of the trades, making a way for a new generation. In May 2023, Knutson teamed up with three local schools to offer some industry education and pull back the curtain on possible career paths they might have missed when thinking about their post-secondary plans.
St. Louis Park High School Career Fair
Members of Team Blue hosted a construction career fair with St. Louis Park high school students, educating them about working in the trades and handing out documentation about the different opportunities that exist in construction – both at Knutson and within the industry in general. Hands-on stations were set up outside where live masonry demonstrations were completed, allowing interested students to experience field-style trade work firsthand.
Eagan & Austin High School Job Tours
Several students at Eagan High School and Austin High School had the pleasure of experiencing a day in the life of a trade/craftworker as they toured a few Knutson project sites during their construction career days. Site tours give students a fun way to learn about the core of construction; seeing projects that are in-progress, and witnessing firsthand the type of work our laborers do to build out our clients’ dreams in real time.
Eagan High attendees visited the Ridgeview Two-Twelve Medical Center Vertical Expansion and Allina Health Lakeville Primary Care Clinic, doing a virtual tour of the Ridgeview project before stepping foot on the actual job site. The virtual tour was one of numerous innovative construction approaches that were demonstrated by Knutson’s Virtual Design and Construction department, capturing the interest of some of the more technologically geared students. Ramona Wilson, Diversity Director, also talked about Knutson’s DE&I initiatives and the importance of working at a company that truly values its people.
“It was the best field trip we have taken since starting our program,” said one of the Eagan High School teachers that facilitated the visit. “It was clear that [Knutson] put much thought and effort into planning our day and what the kids were able to experience.”
Similarly, Austin High students got to sneak a special peek at the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Building in Rochester during their tour. Attendees also learned about different skilled trades currently at work on the high-tech research facility as well as the career paths available for each type of work.
It’s our hope that each attendee, both student and adult, took away empowering information about construction that shone a new light on just how fulfilling it is to work in the industry. If the smiles on the student groups’ faces were any indication of how much they enjoyed it, we’d say it was a success for all! We were grateful to engage with each of these schools, and can’t wait for our next educational excursion to help further the field.