Get Hands-On with a Career in the Skilled Trades

Get Hands-On with a Career in the Skilled Trades

Attend the BUILD YOUR FUTURE event, Feb. 14.

An average working day for a plumber, electrician, or carpenter–what’s it like? Unless you have a family member or friend in the trade, you probably don’t know.

Here’s your chance to find out.

On February 14, the Southfield Pavilion will welcome the BUILD YOUR FUTURE Skilled Trades event to showcase smart, accessible careers in a wide variety of skilled trades including drywall installation, painting, HVAC, information technology, construction, mechanical contracting, and much more.

As many as 30 booths will feature companies, unions, technical education centers, and community colleges, all offering actual opportunities to interact with aspects of the trades represented. Here, you can ask questions to learn more about what that average working day in a skilled trade is really like.

“This is not your typical careers fair,” says John Dignan, director of Post-Secondary Options & Community Partnerships at Southfield Public Schools, the sponsor of this event. “We say ‘every dream has a journey and every career has a path,’ and it’s absolutely true.”

For students—and adults, too

Informational booths from Oakland County Michigan Works Southfield, Southfield Public Library, Easter Seals, Jewish Vocational Center, U of D Cybersecurity and many others will round out the experience, which is open to students and those of any age who are looking to establish a new career path with the potential to earn a good salary.

This event is a great way to get to know today’s version of skilled trades, says Dignan. “Technology has changed the nature of skilled trade work,” he says. “What people traditionally view as the skilled trades may not be up-to-date. Even for those who lay floors and carpets, technology has changed their vocation.”

At the day-long event, 8th grade students from Thomson Middle School and Levey Middle School, and 11th and 12th grade students from University High School Academy, Southfield Regional Academic Campus, and Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology will visit during the morning and afternoon.

The event is open to the public from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on February 14.

“We’re hoping students will bring their parents back so they can show them the options and keep them informed of possible future career tracks, says Rochelle Freeman, business and economic development director for the City of Southfield. “Unfortunately, Southfield has a slightly higher unemployment rate than the rest of Oakland County. There are people here who need options to get back into the workforce. This is a great chance to explore future careers and find out what their aptitude might be. The outstanding staff from Oakland County Michigan Works will be on hand to help people find out about what is available to them with regard to career assistance, too.”

Jump start to a great job

Training or an apprenticeship in the skilled trades can be a fast track to a stable career that is always in demand, says Dignan, who encourages everyone to make time to attend the evening event.

“In a lot of cases, a job in the skilled trades is access to the middle class, with good wages in high demand fields. Through this hands-on event, kids and adults are able to explore, engage and interact with experts in different industries, and gain an awareness of what careers are out there and the skills needed for employment.”

Attend the SOUTHFIELD BUILD YOUR FUTURE event on Thursday, February 14, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road.