OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — There were nearly 800 high school teens at the OKC Fairgrounds on Tuesday morning, exploring different careers in construction and learning new skills in hopes of turning it into a career.
“I have been interested in doing things since I was 8 years old,” said Melody Brown, Yukon High School student.
High school teens putting their hands to the test.
The Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association hosting Build My Future OKC— a one-day, hands-on career exploration experience showing high schoolers the many different careers in construction.
“We have electricians. We have heat and air. We have windows. We have guttering. We have concrete company outside. We have roofing,” said Dusty Hutchison, Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association Vice President.
And that’s just to name a few.
Learning the tricks of the trade.
Like Brown, who hopes to design cabinets when she graduates.
“I figured out there’s so many other things about designing, like designing interior and designing exterior. That just got me interested in building,” Brown said.
Others, trying their hands ant painting or even hanging wallpaper.
The companies showcased are hoping to get teens excited about the jobs needed. Like Andy Crum, with Pella Windows and Doors, who says the labor shortage has been a hardship.
“It’s really, really difficult and especially the skilled labor. Just trying to find carpenters. We us ea lot of carpenters. Even to drivers, warehouse workers, service technicians. Anybody that can work on anything. We’ve had a really hard time over the past two years,” Crum said.
Teachers bringing their students from schools across the metro.
Some kids already learning these skills in the classroom.
“The opportunities that kids have now if just extraordinary,” said Clifford Keester, Capitol High School teacher. “They get the opportunity to actually make a real difference in their neighborhoods by building things or in the business industry by building stuff.”
Students came from Oklahoma City Public Schools, Yukon Public Schools, and others– including Francis Tuttle.