ConstructReach to host ‘I Built This’ initiative to transform construction industry

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ConstructReach, a construction industry workforce development initiative and consultancy, says it will be hosting a private “I Built This!” event in Chicago at the newly constructed Target facility at 3501 S. Pulaski St. on May 11 and 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

High school students aged 16-18 years from neighboring school districts, charter schools, and workforce development programs are invited to learn about the construction industry and engage in hands- on activities, the organization says in a statement..

“Attendees will connect with general contractors and other construction professionals to discuss internships, job opportunities and scholarships while learning more about jobs in the construction industry,” the statement says. “ConstructReach’s ‘I Built This!’ initiative exists to introduce the construction industry to a diverse new generation and, in turn, help an industry facing an impending labor shortage crisis.”

Participants will include Hilco Redevelopment Partners, Morgan/Harbour Construction, Berkshire Grey Robotics, Honeywell Intelligrated, E&K Companies, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

“Our mission at ConstructReach is to increase the visibility of the construction industry by educating students about career opportunities, connecting general contractors to interns and innovative internship curriculum, and creating content, experiences, and a ConstructReach social network to expose diverse populations to construction careers,” said Paul Robinson, founder and CEO of ConstructReach. “Fifty-three percent of skilled trade workers are over 46 and will be retiring. ‘I Built This’ introduces diverse students to construction opportunities to work towards changing those statistics.”

In 2015, Robinson, a former construction project manager for Target, realized the importance of developing an industry-wide initiative to create a diverse pipeline of talent while addressing a generational workforce shortage. “ConstructReach was developed with the view that a more diverse workforce is the key to a brighter future and has hosted other ‘I Built This’ events around the country,” the statement says.

“During “I Built This!” events, students from surrounding communities participate with hands-on activities and learn directly from Robinson, about the construction industry and discuss career opportunities. By uniting general contractors, educators, companies, and students in a variety of meaningful ways, all stakeholders are educated about the opportunities within construction while gaining unparalleled insights.  Through a variety of services offered to its members and events such as “I Built This!”, ConstructReach plans to transform the construction industry within the next decade.”

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