Area students get hands-on experience in building trades careers

WAUNAKEE, Wis. (WMTV)-- Builder Jerry Tierney knows what he and other construction companies are looking for: More skilled workers. Tierney, with Livable Communities by Don Tierney, said, "On a scale of one to ten, trade workers are probably an 11 on demand. From what I can see in our world, there's a very high demand for people in the trades."

Wednesday, Tierney and other members of the Madison Area Builders Association (MABA) gave area high school and technical college students the chance to learn more about building trades at a hands-on demonstration and career day.

Held at the Parade of Homes site in Waunakee, students were active participants in demonstrations about trades like masonry, siding installation, home technology, and interior design. Plus, they could network with trade professionals.

MABA is focused on promoting the building trades and attracting future workers to the industry. MABA Executive Director Chad Lawler said, "Career Day at the Parade of Homes is a great opportunity for students, teachers and chaperons to learn more about the building industry and the in-demand, high-paying jobs that are going unfilled every day."

Lawler added, "If you're a high school senior or recent graduate and you haven't considered a job in the building trades, you're doing yourself a disservice." He said most employers pay at least $13/hour starting with little or no experience, and he said workers can, "advance quickly to near six-figure jobs by the time you're 25 years old." Lawler said, "Everyone should be looking at the building trades as their Plan A after high school."

You can learn more about working in the building trades or the Parade of homes by visiting