SARASOTA, Fla. – Over 300 high school students attended the Construction Rodeo, an inaugural event that showcased information on careers in construction hosted by the Gulf Coast Builder’s Exchange, a not-for-profit trade organization.
Held Thursday, May 11 at the Manatee Technical College, students from Sarasota and Manatee Counties interested in jobs in the various trade industries were bused to the event. Students learned from more than 35 local businesses, with speakers and hands-on activities to help unveil the different construction-related career opportunities.
“This event is important because there’s a workforce crisis in the region,” said Mary Dougherty-Slapp, the executive director of Gulf Coast Builders Exchange. “Jobs are being held up, and prices are rising because we don’t have an abundance of skilled workers in the region. We looked at opportunities for young people in regards to internships or apprenticeships in construction. We want to start opening these prospects up for them to help solve this workforce crisis.”
A 2016 labor market analysis put out by CareerEdge Funders Collaborative showed that average annual pay for the construction field in Sarasota County grew between 10 percent and 15 percent between 2012 and 2015.
“Congratulations to the construction and business leaders who spearheaded this fantastic event,” said Sarasota County Schools Superintendent Todd Bowden, who attended the Construction Rodeo. “This gives our students an opportunity to interact directly with employers. There is so much opportunity in construction right now and so much talent in our schools. This is a perfect way to make sure our students know the career path to get into those vacancies that are right here in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.”
About The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange
The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange was established in 1952 and is a not-for-profit corporation operating as a trade organization under the guidance of a volunteer board of directors as representatives of the industry. The not-for-profit organization represents a broad cross section of the building industry, including contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and others from affiliated industries.
The GCBX membership is comprised of close to 400 companies in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties. It includes some of the most respected contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, service providers and businesses in construction‑affiliated industries. GCBX’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the building industry are conducted in Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte Counties. For more information, visit www.GCBX.org.