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Cooking up Construction: A Brooklyn Center Graduate’s Culinary Interest Helps Him on the Construction Site

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota — From steak and mac ‘n cheese to shrimp fried rice, Tyrrice Maybell cooks it all. Many of the 18-year-old’s favorite memories growing up have revolved around learning to cook. He practices regularly, serving his mother and younger brother their favorite foods.

“Cooking is a passion of mine. I’m a laid-back guy but I’m determined to perfect new recipes and make meals even better,” Maybell said. “One day, I want to go to culinary school, but I need to find work to save up before I start taking classes.”

In his free time, Maybell enjoys listening to R&B music, playing basketball and spending time with family and friends. PC:Emily Sweeney

After graduating from Brooklyn Center High School this spring, Maybell started to explore what his future career and education options might look like.

“I did not want to finish high school and jump into college. And I also wasn’t really passionate about committing to the military,” Maybell said. “One of my teachers, Ms. Gloge, recommended that I apply to the Minnesota Trades Academy (MTA) and I looked into it.”

Maybell had not considered a career in construction before. For Maybell, MTA’s paid summer internship program served as both a summer job and a skill builder for his future career decisions.

“You have to interview to be accepted into the program and that really stressed me out,” Maybell said. “But once I got into the room and started talking, I became more confident.”

New Goals and Ambitious Projects
Construction Careers Foundation is a statewide nonprofit, based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, that’s supported by trade unions, construction companies, a number of Minnesota school districts, and the State of Minnesota (DEED). The nonprofit created the Minnesota Trades Academy to serve students ages 16 to 20 years old, who primarily live in the Twin Cities metro area – exposing them to apprenticeship opportunities in Minnesota’s construction industry.

“The intent of the Minnesota Trades Academy,” said ConstructionCareers.orgy Stuart, associate director of the Construction Careers Foundation, “is to offer a hands-on learning experience that can help a young person see that there’s another option besides college or the military – it’s a career with Minnesota’s construction and building trades.”

But the Minnesota Trades Academy experience goes beyond learning construction skills such as how to wield a hammer or how to use a saw. It also teaches good communication, teamwork and the importance of planning.

“My favorite project that I have worked on was building dressers,” Maybell said. “Teamwork helped us get the job done quickly and we were so focused on our goal that we stayed on top of our responsibilities.”

Maybell also learned the names and uses of the tools on site. He practiced using a power saw and has improved his measuring skills.
“You have to be accurate in everything you do in construction,” Maybell said. “1/16 of an inch matters and it’s a measurement we use often.”

Considering A Career in Construction
“From this experience, I would definitely consider a career in construction or apprenticeship,” Maybell said. “I just needed the experience to test it out for myself and learn more about what careers are out there. So far, being an electrician interests me the most.”

Maybell also has advice for students considering what their next step after high school is.

“It’s a pretty good experience and you just have to keep an open mind to learn it all,” Maybell said. “There are opportunities (like MTA) out there, you just need to be willing to try them. Who knows, maybe it will be the right fit for you.”

For more information on the Minnesota Trades Academy visit the Program page on To read more Rock-Solid Success Stories about young people exploring careers with Minnesota’s construction and building trades, click here.