To inspire students to consider skilled craftsperson careers, Western Maricopa Education Center — a public career technical education district — is partnering with Build Your Future Arizona, this upcoming academic year.
West-MEC includes a campus in Surprise, West-MEC Northwest at 13201 W. Grand Ave. Other campuses are in Buckeye, Glendale and Phoenix.
“The aim of the partnership is to get the word out to students about careers in construction, growth opportunities and the real earning potential in the skilled crafts professions”, said Paul Sanders, the workforce development manager at BYFAZ.
According to the Office of Economic Opportunity’s Projected Employment Report, construction has one of the fastest growing job rates in the state for the years 2019-2029. With this in mind, BYF AZ representatives will be working on spreading awareness about the opportunities in the construction industry to both middle school and high school campuses that are members of the West-MEC district.
They will be sharing information about the various roles within a construction company, how to enter the field and busting some myths. This will be done through career fairs, lunch tables and other interactive channels.
“I’m most excited for students to be able to get a look into the hands-on nature of construction programs and learn about all the amazing opportunities that they offer. These programs are challenging to really understand the true opportunities simply by reading about them. This partnership will be a much-needed solution to that problem”, said Maya Milhon, the lead central programs recruiter at West-MEC.
BYF Arizona shares three reasons you should consider a career in construction:
• Jobs in construction are secure. Arizona’s construction workforce is retiring, and there is a shortage of workers to fill their shoes. By 2022, there will be 155,000 skilled crafts jobs that will need to be filled in AZ alone.
• There is always room to grow. If you start your career as an apprentice at a company, you can quickly move up the ladder. There are clear and distinct career paths.
• Earn a good living. With such a high demand for craft professionals, companies are willing to spend more to get the skills they need. For those in the construction industry, this means they are getting paid higher salaries than ever before. Local construction companies have also put a renewed focus on strong benefits packages and programs to promote work-life balance, showing a commitment to attracting top talent.
Build Your Future Arizona’s mission is to create a sustainable and skilled craft workforce by creating awareness about high paying construction careers, training opportunities and mapping career paths to employment in these high demand occupations.
BYF Arizona is led by an industry steering committee made up of leading employers who have invested in our effort to inspire the next generation of craft professionals to construct a career. For information, visit www.arizona.byf.org.
West-MEC is a career technical education public school district that focuses solely on innovative career and technical education programs that prepare students to enter the workforce and pursue continuing education. West-MEC CTE programs provide students opportunities to earn college credit and industry credentials.
The CTE district serves more than 37,000 students from 48 high schools, across 3,800 square miles in the northern and western cities of the Phoenix Metropolitan area. West-MEC now also offers adult education programs. Visit www.west-mec.edu for information.