In a recent post, I shared some video coverage from the Construction Careers Expo, where Houston-area high-school students heard from contractors and owners who volunteered their time and equipment that day to expose the students to several craft professions. The annual event was sponsored by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston (ABC) and the Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF).
Richard Bolt is a Pipefitting Instructor, Rigging Instructor, and Performance Evaluator at (CMEF). He is certified to train in several other areas as well. Before he came to CMEF, he worked as a journeyman pipefitter with over 20 years of experience in the field. He told me that CMEF offers evaluations of trainees in pipefitting. At the Careers Expo that day the students were allowed to work on one of the mockups from the CMEF lab which is used to evaluate prospective journeyman pipefitters. Bolt said that what the students were experiencing that day was “a snapshot of what an industrial pipefitter does on the job.” The students were divided into two groups and asked to take apart the mockup and put it back together as quickly as possible while maintaining safety at all times. They were encouraged to work together, observing how the pieces came apart so that they could be reassembled correctly.
You can listen to my interview with Bolt and watch a little footage of the students working on the mockup in the 5-minute video below.
Out in the FFA Pavilion, I spoke with Jerry Garcia who has worked for ISC Constructors for nine years. He started at ISC as an electrician and is now an estimator for the company. I asked what the students were doing at ISC’s Electrical Wiring station that day. Garcia answered:
“They are wiring up three-way switches. … There’s two three-way switches, a power source, and a light bulb. They have to hook all of that up together in order for both switches to work – just like in your hallway in your home. You have one side where you can turn it on, then you go to the other switch and turn it off.”
The 2-minute video below contains Garcia’s remarks as well as some footage of students participating in the electrical wiring challenge.
We at Construction Citizen look forward to more events like this one to engage interest careers in skilled craft careers!