Construction Careers Foundation, a Twin Cities-based nonprofit, is expanding its Minnesota Trades Academy and Learn2Build programs to more Minnesota elementary, middle, and high schools.
The Minnesota Trades Academy is a paid summer construction internship program that is currently available to high school students that live in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, North Minneapolis, and Ramsey County.
“This year we are interviewing students from Roseville Area High School,” said Lindsay Tallman, the Construction Careers Foundation’s Program Director. “Our Minnesota Trades Navigator Charie Gill is doing specific outreach to some students in the outer ring suburbs of the Twin Cities, too.”
The Learn2Build program focuses on exposing elementary and middle school students to construction principles through hands-on S.T.E.A.M. and art projects. Historically, Learn2Build partnered with a variety of schools in the Twin Cities. However, starting in February, Paladin Career and Technical High School and Flipside at Capitol Hill Magnet School hosted weekly Learn2Build programming for students.
“Learn2Build camps are sometimes a single-day event for a school. In the summer, we might have programming run for three consecutive days for campers,” Tallman said. “We know students have fun building the projects and this year, we integrated weekly visits to schools over a month or more. Students look forward to a new building project each week and are learning and repeating introductory construction skills such as measuring or reading blueprints.”
Tallman totes great results from the month-long programs.
More than 28 students participated in Paladin Career and Technical High School’s Learn2Build sessions. Students built bird feeders, marshmallow launchers and cement stools. They also received training on how to tile and build out electrical circuit boards.
“At Paladin, many students already know they want to work in the construction trades, and many are unsure what trade specifically but know they enjoy working with their hands,” Tallman said. “Our introduction to construction motivated participants to explore careers in construction and better understand what high school courses they can take to hone their skills. Paladin Career and Technical High School was great to work with and is dedicated to supporting its students and their trades career goals.”
Similar projects were offered to students at Capitol Hill Magnet School, located in St. Paul.
“Having a local community partner like Flipside to help coordinate after-school programming allows us to really focus on nailing the construction experience and information students get. We are grateful to have so many community partners and schools eager to bring awareness to the construction industry.”
Learn2Build Partners with Minnesota Girl Scouts
Learn2Build’s partnerships extend beyond the classroom to local Girl Scout troops, too. A Power Girls event, hosted by the Girl Scouts River Valley, attracted more than 40 girl scouts for a Learn2Build experience in February.
“The event focused on teaching carpentry skills and the scouts followed blueprints to create and decorate take-home bird houses,” Tallman said. “I was really impressed with how many volunteers supported the event, from educators and parents to Dunwoody Technical College carpentry students and industry professionals.”
Classrooms to career fairs – Count us in!
Construction Careers Foundation programming runs year-round and is focused on reaching young people in middle school and high school. If your school is interested in hosting a Learn2Build event or series, contact Lindsay Tallman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tallman and the Construction Careers Foundation team can visit your school or classroom for individualized presentations or career fairs. Learn more at ConstructionCareers.org.