The ABC Pelican Chapter office and training center in Baton Rouge is located on a busy, historic road that stretches from one end of Louisiana’s capital city to another. Most evenings, when I pack up my briefcase and head home, I turn onto Highland Road and am greeted by other commuters who are doing the same. However, during this time of year, as I walk out of my office each evening, I see a stream of vehicles turn off this busy road and into the ABC Pelican Chapter’s parking lot. Hundreds of trucks and a handful of cars are parked at our training center, with a line of vehicles forming a couple hundred yards long. Despite already putting in a long day at work, these drivers hop out of their automobiles and into our classrooms, eager to learn and to master their craft in a three-hour course 6:00-9:00 p.m. most nights of the week. I am proud that we are one of many ABC chapters where this scene repeats itself each day. With two training centers and several satellite locations, the ABC Pelican Chapter will educate over 2,000 students this fall. At ABC’s training centers across the country, we are working to supply the next generation of craft professionals with the tools they need to succeed and excel in the construction industry.
October is officially Careers in Construction Month. Throughout October, schools, contractors and organizations will partner locally to host events or conduct activities that raise awareness and introduce students and young professionals to rewarding construction careers. Simply put, Careers in Construction Month is a nationwide campaign designed to educate the public about the opportunities available for a craft professional. As we look to encourage more young people to consider long-term career paths in our industry, ABC will continue to partner with organizations like Build Your Future for Careers in Construction Month.
Build Your Future is a nonprofit organization aiming to be the catalyst for recruiting the next generation of craft professionals. I encourage you to get involved with this mission-driven organization, if you are not already. Earlier this year, we partnered with Build Your Future to host DIY Network at our Baton Rouge training center. The network toured our facilities with a vision of showcasing the variety of career opportunities in the construction industry and the way that students are educated in different crafts. Informing the public about the construction industry through television and social media is a powerful tool!
There are many great ways for you and your business to participate in Careers in Construction Month and to promote a positive and realistic image of the construction industry. Sponsor a career fair. Open up your worksite by arranging for students and young professionals to visit and see first-hand all of the amazing prospects in the construction industry. Host a parent night with local craft professionals presenting career opportunities currently available to students. Hold a job-shadow day for students to get a real feel for a day in the industry. You can visit Build Your Future’s resource page for more ideas as well as printable PowerPoints, bookmarks, posters, brochures, fliers, infographics, classroom activities and more.
At ABC Pelican Chapter, we are excited to partner with many Louisiana contractors, industry professionals, suppliers and other educational entities to host a large Build Your Future Day at a local exposition center later this month. More than 60 local high schools have already scheduled half-day field trips for over 1,000 students to learn about the many career pathways available for them in the construction industry. What a great way to showcase our industry and individual companies. I hope that you and your company can find a way to participate in Careers in Construction Month. Reach out to your local high school, technical college or ABC chapter to see how you can get involved.
For more information, call David Helveston, president and CEO of the ABC Pelican Chapter, at (225) 753-2590 or email him at dhelveston@abcpeli can.com, or contact Russell Hamley at (713) 523-6ABC  or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.