LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. – For the third year, the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange (GCBX), a not-for-profit construction industry trade organization, introduced hundreds of high school students to the career opportunities available in construction through its educational Construction Rodeo event.
During the four-hour assembly on Tuesday, March 12, more than 400 students learned about the various industry-related occupations, including carpentry, masonry, plumbing and electrical occupations, among other construction-based careers.
“We hold this event to introduce young people to good careers in the trades and in construction,” said Mary Dougherty, executive director of the Gulf Coast Builders Exchange. “These students are finding out what their future might hold as an entrepreneur, and the GCBX members have internship and apprenticeship opportunities available for when these high schoolers graduate and want to kick start their career. This year’s students came prepared with questions and were very interested and engaged in the possibilities for their futures.”
More than 35 local businesses participated with speakers and hands-on demonstrations at the Manatee Technical College in Bradenton. In partnership with the Suncoast Technical College and Manatee Technical College, the students were bused to the event from 12 high schools throughout Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
“I’m here to look around at the construction companies, find out what’s around and what I can do,” said Jonathan King, a senior at Sarasota High School. “I think the opportunities they have here are awesome.”
The event attracted more than 350 high school students looking to pursue jobs in the trades last year, and at its inaugural introduction, more than 20 students were given apprenticeship opportunities or jobs as a result.
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.