How do you get today’s students interested in construction careers? By letting them experience the excitement first hand! This was the scene on a cold day last February, when 35 students from Chester County’s Lewisville and Great Falls High Schools visited UIG’s Highway 9 bridge construction site on the Catawba River.
During their visit, the students witnessed history being made as UIG’s brand new, state of the art cranes worked in tandem to place and set the longest continuous steel beam in South Carolina. They also got a glimpse of a promising future, as UIG representatives described to them a wide range of potential construction careers. It is a future that many students have not previously considered.
Photo: Link-Belt Cranes
CHANGING CAREER MINDSETS
“Construction careers are not top-of-mind with today’s young people,” explains Rebecca Battle-Bryant, UIG VP of Employee Resources & Workforce Development. “The recession hit the industry hard, and many schools have cut back on trades courses. But times are changing, there’s a new focus on infrastructure, and opportunity is all around us.”
DEGREE AND NON-DEGREE OPPORTUNITIES
Students toured the site and met UIG associates who represented many aspects of construction. These included college degreed professionals such as civil and mechanical engineers, project estimators and design/build specialists.
Students also met many non-degreed associates with satisfying and well-paying construction careers, from entry-level laborer to Certified Crane Operator. Today, these are the workers in greatest demand. Our team members spoke about the satisfaction they get from their jobs. Some love working outdoors, others enjoy the personal satisfaction of driving on a road or over a bridge that THEY built. And they all appreciate that, at UIG, every member of the team who shows initiative and aptitude has the opportunity to advance in his (or her!) career.
CONSTRUCTION CAREERS FOR MEN AND WOMEN
Ms. Battle-Bryant notes that there were several female students who visited the site that day, and their interest and enthusiasm matched that of the young men. “Look, we need people – men and women. The future of UIG, and the construction industry, depends on it. We need to encourage our daughters to pursue math and science because there has never been a better time for women to pursue construction careers.”
TAKE THE FIRST STEP…
Today, construction careers are not just a hot prospect; in South Carolina, they are the hottest prospect for our young people, and the need stretches out well into the future. UIG needs talented, dedicated people to build our parkways, overpasses and bridges. We encourage you contact us to learn more about our many job opportunities!
ATTENTION VC SUMMER EMPLOYEES!
If you or someone you know is a displaced VC Summer employee, be sure to look for UIG at all the upcoming scheduled job fairs! We want to meet you!