The event on April 4 from 7am to 3pm at the Fort Bend ISD Wheeler Fieldhouse in Sugar Land is part of a broader C3 initiative to educate students about careers in construction.
“United Tool and Fastener is excited to be a part of this program in the greater Houston area,” said UTF President Bobby Williams. In an interview, Williams told Construction Citizen he’s been to similar events in San Antonio with MAREK where high school students have truly had their eyes opened to the many possibilities for them in the industry.
"You’re making some good dollars and you don’t have that college debt,” Williams said with a laugh, adding that an investment in the workforce is just as critical for those students as it is for the industry as a whole.
“If we don’t keep skilled craft workers and the industry disappears or goes south, what happens to all the supporting staff?” Williams asked. “It’s a major, major industry and goes across all segments.”
The goal is ultimately to pair trained and employable high school seniors who are enrolled in career and technical education programs with companies in the construction industry. As many as 1,200 students from Aldine, Lamar, Alvin, Alief, Spring Branch, and Fort Bend areas are expected to attend the event.
Chuck Gremillion, C3's Executive Director, said the organization is holding the career fair "because there are many construction companies in search of talent."
“The C3 Career Fair is a vehicle that connects the dots thereby enabling the establishment of a safe, skilled and sustainable craft workforce," said Gremillion. "Building a safe, skilled and sustainable craft workforce is a journey," he stressed.
“In order to compete for talent with other industries, it requires that contractors and specialty contractors develop the HR practices that make them competitive,” Gremillion said. “This includes an employer-employee relationship, which means that craft workers are paid as hourly employees (W2 earners) with traditional federal and state employment taxes deducted and matched as required by law.”
“It also includes workers compensation insurance coverage in the event of an on-the-job injury, and safety training to prevent injuries in order to establish a safe working environment,” Gremillion said.
“Finally, and critically important, construction companies must commit to the development of skills training linked to a construction career path, which demonstrates to candidates considering the construction industry that they can have a prosperous career in the construction trades,” he said.