TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Saturday was the last day of the construction competition at Catalina Magnet High School. Participating students compete in multiple construction categories while networking with industry professionals.
“Students here are swinging hammers to nail down a job in the construction industry,” said Mishari Otaibi, construction teacher.
The pandemic brought a booming demand for new housing, but there are fewer construction workers. 11,000 fewer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“You can tell how much of a need there really is in the trades for skilled workers," Otaibi said.
It’s one reason why 150 students participated in the construction competition at Catalina Magnet High School this weekend. Students compete in eight categories, each one is sponsored by a local construction company, ready to offer them a job.
“They’re hiring, every single one of them," Otaibi said. "They’re handing out cards to kids at these competitions and everything.”
Throughout the year, students take classes in construction trades like plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and sheet metal.
“It’s always fun, I built some stuff with my dad, my brother, so we have small projects around the house,” said Felix Weissleder, construction student.
Then they get to show off their skills at the competition.
“Today it’s just getting the skills in, and especially having just amount of time to see how good you are,” Weissleder said.
These skills can land students a high-paying job...
“If you didn’t go to college and you're working in the trades, you can make just as much as somebody that has a four-year degree,” Otaibi said.
Or help them with their own home improvements.
“Everyone’s going to have to change out an outlet or switch or something," Otaibi said. "So instead of paying an electrician 25 dollars an outlet, why not do it yourself.”
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