Construction worker standing

Classroom to Construction Site

Blog written by Erika Freeman, Communication Services – Education Market

As educators prepare students for the future, a worthwhile initiative is underway. In recent years, youth apprenticeships have had a growing presence in school districts across the state. Such programs offer students hands-on learning while exploring careers in almost any industry. In our case, students can go from the classroom to the construction site for an education that combines academic and technical instruction with on-the-job training.

Findorff has direct experience and a genuine interest in supporting youth apprenticeship programs. As a commercial builder, we understand that such programs are incredibly valuable. They help set the foundation to shape construction careers, ranging from virtual construction to project management. Through youth apprenticeship programs, students develop clear connections between learning in the classroom and experiences on the jobsite.

Findorff regularly teams with school districts and the Dane County School Consortium to recruit students interested in this mutually beneficial opportunity. The consortium has been a vital resource in this process. With a mission to offer today’s youth a pathway to tomorrow’s careers, the consortium partners with local businesses and community groups to bring innovative learning programs to students.

Since 2014, Findorff has trained and mentored 12 youth apprentices. Students are selected based on their excitement for the industry and eagerness to learn. Most recently, students from Belleville, McFarland, and Verona worked on Findorff projects within their respective districts. Their experiences, while different, can be used as models for others considering the same path as they take the first steps in their construction careers.

From these experiences, it is certain students greatly benefit from youth apprenticeship programs. However, it should be noted that construction managers and other employers can also reap rewards from their involvement. Examples include:

  • Increased awareness with education clients
  • Trained workers that are better prepared to enter the workforce
  • Reduced costs for recruitment and training
  • Qualifying future workers with required, job-specific proficiencies
  • Improved employee retention

When it is all said and done, youth apprenticeships offer win-win situations for everyone involved.

To learn more about the apprentices working on our projects and how to engage the future workforce, read Erika's article in Wisconsin School News. We'd also love for you to check out our K-12 education experience.

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