To meet students where they’re at, on their terms, the Construction Careers Foundation, a Twin Cities nonprofit has developed a mobile app called “Construction Trades,” which is available through the Apple and Google Play apps stores.
In most U.S. schools, students have access to at least one computing device. However, as the traditional classroom is converted to online platforms, students need educational technology that excels in connectivity and provides viable, real-world applications.
“The future generation of Minnesota’s skilled construction workers are attending Minnesota’s middle and high schools right now,” said Sarah Lechowich, senior director for the Construction Careers Foundation. “That’s why the Construction Careers Foundation launched the Construction Trades app, the first free mobile app for youth to explore careers in Minnesota’s construction industry.”
The new app is part of an ongoing, state-wide effort to attract high school students into the construction trades after high school and help them build highly satisfying, lifetime careers as a skilled construction professional.
The Construction Careers Foundation is leading the effort and is being assisted by Minnesota’s building trades, the State of Minnesota and some of Minnesota’s largest construction companies, such as Mortenson, Opus, Ryan, PCL, McGough, Kraus Anderson, among others.
“As a former post secondary instructor, I know not all students are suited to traditional learning styles — many like to move around and create, or explore math and science using their hands,” Lechowich said. “There are many students who don’t enjoy learning in a classroom setting, and therefore don’t have a desire to go to college. We say ‘There’s nothing wrong with that, and if you want, there’s an alternative available to you – a career in construction.’ The Construction Trades app helps these students explore and pursue alternative careers that have great benefits.”
Students can download the Construction Trades app on the App Store and Google Play and personalize their app experience by selecting their career interests, current location (zip code) and educational background.
By filling out this information, students have a universal form at their fingertips and are connected with more than 30 different apprenticeship programs in Minnesota’s construction trades.
“Push notifications alert youth about Minnesota construction apprenticeships that align with their selected interests and notify students of known application deadlines as well as local opportunities such as open houses and career fairs,” Lechowich said.
The Construction Trades app and ConstructionCareers.org website are two educational mobile platforms that cater to high school students’ educational needs and connect them to alternative career path insights and apprenticeship applications.
“Remote learning may be a challenging technological adjustment, but students are resilient,” Lechowich said. “We’ve equipped Minnesota educators with the app and website so they can share it with students and give them the opportunity to explore and pursue a stable career in Minnesota’s construction industry.”