BELOIT — Hendricks CareerTek students had the opportunity to do hands-on learning activities with trades people before getting a tour of the ABC Supply Stadium on Tuesday.
It all was part of the Trades Extravaganza, one of the many free day-long academies being held this summer by CareerTek to help kids explore careers.
“The objective is to have hands-on experiences with some of the trades so students can see if it’s a career they are interested in,” said Hendricks CareerTek Director Derrick Carter.
The day kicked off with trades people in four interactive stations, including masonry, where kids learned about bricklaying and tile installation; insulation installation; carpentry; and heavy equipment operation. After rotating through the stations the students in grades 6 through 12 met for lunch with the trades workers to learn more about their careers and tour the stadium. Students watched videos created by CareerTek students about the stadium. The videos were created by high school students as part of a job shadowing project.
“Students will see how all of these trades are put into action in a project like the stadium,” said Director of Career Development Susan Day.
At the masonry station, students were learning from Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers of Wisconsin’s Training Coordinator Mike Williams and Business Representative Tobin Boyle how to lay bricks with mortar.
Williams said there is a shortage of workers in all skilled trades. He and Boyle attend career fairs all over the state sharing the benefits of a trades career. Education is paid for within an apprenticeship program so students do not have to acquire debt. A starting wage for a bricklayer, for example, is $24.95 an hour plus benefits. Once people are skilled in a trade, they can travel to most any location and find work.
“You can go wherever you want,” Williams said.
Trade work can also have other benefits.
“You can see what you made, and there is a sense of accomplishment,” Boyle said.
Boyle also noted how the beautiful arch work at the new stadium was made by those working in masonry. The ABC Supply Stadium will be home to the Beloit Snappers baseball team.
CareerTek will be holding its day-long academies on career exploration throughout the summer in fields ranging from coding and culinary arts to heavy equipment operation and fire service. The opportunities are open to kids in the Greater Beloit area. Ages for the academies vary, but they are usually geared toward middle and high school age students.
For more information people can visit Hendrickscareertek.org.
CareerTek’s mission is to help students, grades sixth and above, achieve their career goals and aspirations by providing college and career readiness support. Located at 625 Third St., Suite 200 in the Ironworks Complex, Hendricks CareerTek offers a unique space for employers and students to intersect. It provides students with workshops and educational opportunities in high-demand career fields such as coding, healthcare, construction and trades, manufacturing, entrepreneurship and more.