Construction camp exposes kids to more career options

DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV)--- High school students from the Middleton-Cross Plains School District got hands-on experience in construction on Tuesday at General Heating and Air Conditioning.

The training is part of a summer camp designed to get kids interested in fields experiencing worker shortages, such as carpentry and metal work.

Matt Van De Sande, a technology teacher at Glacier Creek Middle School, partnered with Findorff Construction to bring students to different construction sites over the week and show kids trades are an option for people skilled in technology, design and marketing.

“There’s a definite need for these positions, and the kids get an opportunity to get it at a very young age and get hands-on experience right away. So they can say, hey, this is something I enjoy and want to continue doing,” Van De Sande said.

He said students can learn that these jobs can give valuable work experience and provide a steady income, avoiding student debt.

“People probably think that doctors and jobs like that are a lot higher pay, and they don’t really see that construction can also be as good of pay as being a doctor,” said one student, Kevin Spahn.

Van De Sande and Findorff said they hope to expand the program to reach more kids in the area and show them a viable alternative to a four-year college.