QC youth to join Iowa event designed to Build My Future

Build My Future

Quad Cities youth are among the students from 41 schools in Eastern Iowa expected to attend the annual Build My Future-ACE Career Day & Industry Showcase on Tuesday, April 25, at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City.

The event is hosted by Future Builders of Iowa, a non-profit organization created to expand workforce development initiatives in eastern Iowa in partnership with the local Iowa Home Builders Associations. This year’s event will give 751 students in 7th-12th grade students the opportunity to spend a day in the construction industry through an interactive showcase, according to a news release.

This is the first year all the high schools in eastern Iowa are being invited to participate in hands-on training. The training will provide a wide range of activities including: roofing, siding, framing, hanging and mudding drywall, plumbing, door hanging, GPS surveying, excavator and underground utilities, job site supervisor, rebar tying, old methods vs. new technologies, brick laying and many more. 

Students can come from these Iowa counties: Benton, Washington, Linn, Jones, Johnson, Cedar, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott.

Build My Future is a national workforce development initiative started in Springfield, Missouri, to highlight careers through hands-on training provided by local employers, educators and skilled trades associations.

The hands-on learning labs will be led by volunteers from area construction companies involved in carpentry, plumbing, heavy equipment, masonry, drywall work and more. There also will be educational displays and equipment operations. Learning about the construction trade will show students an alternative path to a four-year college degree and let them test-drive different careers, organizers say.

“Perhaps the biggest challenge for builders and general contractors right now is the lack of skilled workers,” said Iowa City Area Home Builders Association Vocational Training Council board member Tim Ruth of McCreedy-Ruth Construction, in a news release. “Informing students about the construction trade while they’re in school allows them time to learn more about the field, find what peaks their interests and explore how it can be a viable choice for them.”

Sponsors for the event are: The Greater Iowa City Area HBA Vocational Training Council, The Cedar Rapids HBA and Kirkwood Community College. Additionally, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) awarded a $2,500 grant from its National Housing Endowment Fund. Several local and state businesses are supporting the event through funds and as exhibitors.

To learn more, visit Build My Future – Explore ACE.

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