151106-atb-careerdays-0145smallBy Ramon A. Gaanderse, Executive Director of the Arizona Transportation Builders Association Educators are often challenged to develop lessons that introduce careers to students, yet it is difficult for busy educators to know the details of all careers. This is why in 2013 the Arizona Transportation Builders Association began focusing on helping educators learn about career pathways into the construction industry. To achieve this, the Southern Arizona Construction Career Days (SACCD) event and planning committee were formed. The SACCD committee is comprised of various construction associations, construction firms, local and state government agencies, high school organizations and universities. The committee established its career day event so educators could bring their students to explore all the great career opportunities within the construction industry. SACCD’s event is held each fall in Tucson and features exhibits hosted by construction, infrastructure, utilities, engineering, design and architecture professionals. The industry understands that the way to introduce students to these careers is best done through interactive and hands-on activities. At the event, students have the unique opportunity to learn about various craft professions and construction equipment through hands-on operation. As the students participate and investigate the various careers, they gather details and information to take back and assess in their personal lives and in the classroom. SACCD’s first event was held in 2014 with 700 students in attendance. In 2015, 1,000 students attended, and this year, over 1,200 students have signed up to attend. Over the years, the event has expanded to include over 200 different vendors, several hundred volunteers and more than 35 different schools representing Southern Arizona from Tombstone, Rio Ricco, Benson, Casa Grande and Tucson. This year’s SACCD event takes place Thursday, Oct. 27 through Friday, Oct. 28 and lasts from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at the Tuscon Rodeo Grounds. Students can follow the experience on a mobile app and on Google Play to receive timely updates and view employment opportunities. The app also keeps students updated on construction job opportunities throughout the year. For more information, visit saccd.org. cicm-2016cropped October is Careers in Construction Month! To learn more or get involved, visit byf.org/events.

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NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.