A program by CIRI and the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council (RIBCTC) in collaboration with RIDOT, RI Construction Career Days enables the state’s high school students to learn about the construction industry firsthand. While participation rates have been high, these two-day events have not produced a substantial number of viable candidates for the heavy and highway construction industry.
“Up to now, many of the young people attending are students with little to no interest in entering the industry,” says Joe Caparco, New England Region apprentice coordinator for LIUNA. “Going forward, we’re looking to conduct smaller events with a lot more hands-on involvement. We’ll also be working with the state’s school counselors to try to identify the students who will benefit most from an interactive experience.”
The current thinking is to set up a series of four events throughout the year, beginning as early as this Fall 2022. Some events could be geared toward particular affinity groups and/or possibly to coincide with wider national efforts.
“One idea is to hold a one-day event for women. Another is to schedule an event during National Apprentice Week,” Caparco concludes. “We’re looking at all options at this point. The idea is to plan out a RI Construction Career Days series that becomes a consistent pipeline for attendees to connect with companies who are in need of new, young talent.”