PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Some students in KELOLAND may be thinking about a job in construction after getting a close look at the industry.
Lots of bright vests and hard hats could be seen at the construction site of the new Pierre/Fort Pierre Bridge Thursday.
But the group standing along the Missouri River wasn’t building the structure.
It was one of the stops of the Pierre Construction Career Camp, an event introducing kids to the different career paths in the construction industry.
“The demands are really high right now. There’s a lot of work and not nearly enough workers to do it,” AGE Corporation VP Andy Johnson said.
Andy Johnson, the Vice President of AGE Corporation, talked to students about everything it takes to pull off a bridge project.
“I think it was fun. We got to learn about stuff that they do and some of the pay that they get,” T.F. Riggs student Aaron McKinley said.
Students learned about a wide variety of opportunities in construction including operating machinery, concrete, and carpentry.
An engineer with the South Dakota Department of Transportation says high school is a good to expose people to the industry.
“I think a lot of folks just don’t think about construction. They don’t think about what the DOT can offer in planning and engineering. There’s jobs from secretarial jobs to drafting jobs to bridge engineer to geotechnical dirt engineer to construction,” SD DOT Pierre Area Engineer Dean VanDeWiele said.
But an event like this may have more students considering the field.
“Gotta build the infrastructure for America and we can’t do it without the people,” Johnson said.
The Pierre Construction Career Camp was put on by the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota.
Students from Pierre, White River, and Lyman school districts attended.
The DOT currently has several job openings for permanent work or seasonal, such as snow plow driving.