Summer Construction Education Program
Most students attend summer school only if they have to, but in the case of students involved with the Summer Construction Education Program, the students want to.
Run by the Education Employment System #330, located at Parkland College, the Summer Construction Education Program is a five-week program which aims to engage students in developing career interests and skills related to the construction industry. The participants, who come from area high schools, have to apply to be part of the five-week course, including getting recommendations. The class is taught by two area high school teachers, but students also learn about career opportunities in construction from those who work in it – Parkland College staff, local unions, and F&S employees when they spend a day at the Physical Plant Services Building.
Seventeen students from Champaign-Urbana high schools and surrounding high school, visited PPSB in June. This was the third consecutive year students have toured PPSB.
“Visiting PPSB is kind of a one-stop shop,” said Ken Buenting, F&S assistant superintendent of Building Maintenance, who coordinated the visit. “With 29 Crafts and Trades, F&S has more shops under one roof than anywhere else in town.”
The students began their day with construction presentations. The remainder of their time was spent visiting with the Elevator shop, the Machine shop, the Sheet Metal shop, the Insulation shop, the Sign shop and the Mill. Employees explained how they got started in their jobs, what training it took, the skills needed for the trade, and what one could expect to make in the trade.
“College isn’t for everyone, and this program shows the students about the opportunities for hands-on work,” Buenting said. “Some of them were surprised to hear the salaries and that you can make a good living in these careers.”