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Explore Possibilities: Alaska Construction Career Day

"Playing with these large toys is fun," said Alex Konev, a Kachemak Selo student. "When you are a child, you play with little toy trucks. Now it's large toys—I'm still just playing with Tonka trucks."

A KPBSD guiding principle is college or career ready high school graduates and Alaska is facing a critical shortage in the construction fields, so when nearly three hundred KPBSD students from the Kenai Peninsula and industry representatives participated in hands-on welding, surveying, building, residential wiring, and cable cutting, future careers were ignited.

During Alaska Construction Career Day, May 1, 2013, held at the Soldotna Sports Center, students took the driver's seat in a variety of heavy equipment including a backhoe, dozer, excavator, and a semi-truck.

Mavrick Ivanov, a sophomore at Voznesenka School, was impressed with the outdoor welding station and his challenge to hold a steady pace while welding two steel pieces. "It was fun," said Ivanov. Meanwhile, indoors, at a computer simulator station, another student practiced welding, while several students watched and waited for their turn. "This is the third best weld today," explained the instructor, pointing to the clean welding line on the computer screen.

 

"I want to be an architect," explained Adam Poss, a Homer High School sophomore. "I'm surprised that this is so hands on. It's a really cool experience." Gregory Trail, a freshman at Nikolaevsk School explained, "It's all interesting. I was aligning steel brackets to create a stable, safe piece."

A day to explore future possibilities in construction and transportation careers, students met with training and educational programs that could lead them to careers in construction. Representatives from state agencies, educational, trade, and professional organizations were available to meet with students. "Career awareness in the transportation industry encompasses more than heavy equipment," said Norma M. Lucero, Statewide Support Services Coordinator for the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Civil Rights Office. "There are many opportunities for managers, engineers, and the field is wide open for women."

KPBSD extends a thank you to the many people who worked to offer this day for students. Union members, industry experts, school counselors, staff, and local volunteers merit applause. Alaska Construction Career Days is a state wide program sponsored by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Civil Rights Office, and the Local Technical Assistance Program.

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"The mission of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is to develop productive, responsible citizens who are prepared to be successful in a dynamic world.

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