On Wednesday at the Santa Rosa County Fairgrounds, over 600 students were in attendance to check out the third Annual Northwest Florida Construction Career Days.
The Florida Department of Transportation and its partners host Career Days to introduce high school students to critical career paths available in transportation, structural engineering and building industries.
Jude Stacks, a senior at West Florida High School, doesn’t plan to go to college and is taking part in the Energy Academy in school, a program where students learn about basic electrical work and receive certifications. He attended Career Days last year and was taken aback by all the different opportunities.
“When they come to something like this on Career Days there’s so many different careers. People don’t know about it and it opens up different opportunities for them after high school if college isn’t their thing,” Stacks said. “And some people don’t know how much these people get paid, so that can really change their outlook on whether they want to join a trade or go to school.”
Construction Career Days is a nationwide program with four other events across Florida.
Locally, Career Days is a two day interactive event that brings in approximately 1,000 high school students and over 150 volunteers from Santa Rosa, Escambia and Okaloosa counties. Students take part in 29 interactive learning labs that include operating heavy equipment, traffic lights, bridge design concepts, concrete, paving, engineering and technology.