Path Home Shows 2017 Show Archive January 2017 Show 1705 SkillsUSA Construction Employers

SkillsUSA Construction Employers

Value Added: Construction workers serve as judges for the SkillsUSA construction contests.
SkillsUSA Construction Employers

SkillsUSA Construction Employers

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CareerTech - SkillsUSA


Crossland Construction

Sooner Construction Co.

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology

AGC of Oklahoma

AGC of America

Show Details

Show 1705: SkillsUSA Construction Employers
Air Date: January 29, 2017



Rob McClendon: Well, lumber and nails may make the house – still they’re useless without a hammer and skilled hand using them. And in this computer age, it’s often hard for construction companies to find young workers with the necessary training to be successful on the job site, making those who have the right skills in high demand. Our Austin Moore takes us to Tulsa where construction firms from across the state are scouting their top talent.

Austin Moore: It may be a rainy spring day in downtown Tulsa, but that isn’t slowing down the bustling activity inside the Cox Business Center. This is the 51st annual SkillsUSA State Convention and Skills Competition, where CareerTech students from across the state come together to test their professional skills and prove their mettle. The competition is fierce throughout, but louder nowhere than with the carpenters. Crossland Construction’s Jarrod Parks is one of the industry judges.

Jarrod Parks: They have a plan and a set amount of time, limited amount of material. And they have to do that plan in the most effective, efficient way possible.

Michael Snow: They are building a wall with a roof attached to it that has a dormer much like a second floor roof line would have.

Austin: Michael Snow is a judge who works for Sooner Construction Co. in Ponca City.

Snow: Today with the younger crowd, we’re definitely looking for some real basic stuff: that they understand how to look for problems and read a print and understand how to put these, these components together.

Steve Olmstead: This contest will give ’em a lot of skills as far as reading blueprints, measuring, calculations. There’s a lot of trig. If you look behind me and see the angle of this roof, a lot of math involved in the construction industry. So we need good young people to go into it.

Austin: Steve Olmstead hopes to guide those choices in his role as dean of the school of construction for the Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.

Olmstead: Right now the construction industry, both, not just commercial, but heavy highway and some residential, is growing. It’s a good outlook for students who graduate from programs like this.

Snow: There’s so much opportunity. There’s a constant need for young people coming into this industry. A lot of the older guys that were skilled, you know, skilled and trade-specific, are making their way out. And it is time for some younger people to come up into the industry.

Austin: Jarrod Parks and fellow Crossland employee Adam Jobe capitalized on that opportunity. Both are former winners of this contest.

Adam Jobe: This is really what got me into college. You know, if I hadn’t went here and won this – I got a scholarship to go to OSUIT, and, you know, before this I didn’t even want to go to college, but that scholarship kind of pushed me through the right direction.

Parks: For me it built work ethic at a younger age and how to work, how to do the work, put it in place.

Austin: That’s why, year after year, so many of our state’s construction firms happily send employees to this contest as judges.

Snow: I’m looking for people that may be close by that have those skills that I’m looking for, that may be interested after school to come to work.

Allen Stolhand: These guys get to see the best of the best in Oklahoma.

Austin: Oklahoma CareerTech’s Allen Stolhand.

Stolhand: I’ve had students offered a job right here on the contest floor. And the industry people get to meet the instructors, find out who the instructor is at the tech center near them. They can get in contact with them and say, “Hey, I need five guys coming up here pretty soon. Do you have any good ones?” So it’s a good way for them to tie into the resources that we have.

Austin: So building skills and connections along with walls.

Rob McClendon: Now, construction is just the start for SkillsUSA. The careers featured are as varied as video game design, firefighting and even broadcast news production.