Construction Career Day: Planning for the future

By Brandi Bailey

October 2, 2013 Updated Oct 2, 2013 at 11:57 PM EDT

Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The need for those interested in jobs in the construction and engineering industries is on the rise.

To grow area interest, Construction Career Day was designed to offer an alternative to a four-year college education. It could also leave a little extra cash in local students' pockets.

More than 500 students from more than 20 school districts attended the career day.

"Kids come out of college with owing $50,000 to $100,000 after four years and then they're not making enough to pay off those student loans," said Laurie Hahl, work experience coordinator.

Many construction and engineering careers can start right out of high school with an apprenticeship, allowing employees to learn while getting paid.

The career day even allows students to get their hands on some big rigs.

"We have close to 30 pieces of equipment. Kids can get on the equipment as long as they are 16 or older and can ride up in a bucket, can push stone with a bulldozer," Hahl said.

"I think driving equipment is cool and it's kind of fun and I've been interested in it since I was a little kid," Ben Schwartz said.

In 2016 there will be more than one million new jobs in the construction industry.

Wednesday's event was organized by the New York State Department of Transportation, Broome County Highway Department, Broome-Tioga BOCES and Broome Tioga Workforce.