A local construction company is working to extend the student-to-workforce pipeline by teaching middle school students about the industry.
McCarthy Building Companies, located in Dallas, has been holding workshop sessions with 7th graders from Apollo Junior High in the Richardson Independent School District.
The goal is to increase awareness about the benefits of the industry and the use of technology. Idea of using technology piqued the interest of 12-year-old Henry Kirkland.
"I love computers. I love visualizing something and then creating it," Kirkland said. "At first I thought construction would be boring but now I see it as fun. I can build things. It's inspiring to see the opportunities I can have in the future."
There's a demand to increase interest with a broader spectrum of people. According to the Dallas Builders Association, in North Texas, there is a shortage of 20,000 skilled workers. It says there is also a need to generate interest among a broader group of people.
"We have a retiring workforce. So a lot of the workforce that has been with us for many many years is retiring and there is no new people coming in," said Jessica Adame, a craft workforce acquisition manager for McCarthy. "Construction needs people, if we don't have people we can't build and cost will rise. Also, people don't realize the great opportunities and career choices in the industry."