Program Challenges, Rewards & Needed Assistance
Michigan Builder asked this program’s leaders the following three questions: What is your biggest challenge?

Answer: One of the biggest challenges we face is overcoming the stigma of the skilled trades as a “dirty job.” Construction is often portrayed as an undesirable career field, when in fact, there is a wide variety of jobs and careers in the construction industry that are viable, lucrative options for students right out of high school. There are also many paths available with a 2 or 4 year degree. Another challenge is helping students understand that it’s ok to fail…that is, that they can try new skills/techniques here and they can make mistakes and it will be ok. They are so programmed to do everything right that they are afraid to take chances and try something new for fear of failing.

What is your biggest reward?

Answer: Providing students an opportunity to see that there are many paths to success, including direct-to-career placements into high-skilled, high-wage trades positions.

What can HBAs and HBA members do to help you?

Answer: By hiring our students!!! For both summer work and long-term careers. They can also support student by providing co-op opportunities. Students interested in careers need to be able to go directly from graduation to job placement. Our advisory board here at the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center has been very supportive by working with us to do interviews each spring, allowing students to both practice a real job interview and providing job offers to graduating seniors that fit their needs.