Despite record-breaking rainfall, the 2012 Fresno Construction Career Awareness Day (CCAD,) sponsored by AGC of California, scored a record of its own of 1,100 students from 30 local high schools – the highest number of students and schools to ever participate in the Fresno CCAD.

Held last month at the Fresno Fairgrounds, the CCAD event provided an excellent forum for high school students to learn about various career paths and the training and education necessary in the construction industry. In addition to the rain, the event also brought in a record number of exhibitors and sponsors with 25 different companies, colleges and training and apprenticeship programs participating.

Students participated in a number of hands-on activities, including a series of safety stations and a skills competition. The event also gave them the opportunity to see and operate construction equipment and to visit a number of exhibit booths where they were able to network with industry professionals.

The 2012 exhibitor/sponsors for the Fresno CCAD event included: Agee Construction Corp.; Carpenters Union; Clark Construction; Fresno City College, Applied Technology Division; Northern California Cement Masons J.A.T.C.; Pacific Coast Building Products; California High-Speed Train; California Plasters – JATC; California State University Fresno; CEMEX; Cummins West Inc.; Northern California Laborers Apprenticeship; On-Site Health & Safety; Soltek Pacific Construction Co.; Central Valley Builders Exchange; ACE Mentor Program of America, Inc.; Operating Engineers Local 3 JAC; Small Business Exchange, Inc.; Granite Construction Co.; Lyles Construction Group; ITT Technical Institute; KRC Safety Co. Inc.; P.A.I.N; Quinn Companies; Reedley College; Skanska USA Civil West; Teichert Construction; and West Hills College.

Meanwhile, for more than 90 students in the AGC of California Chico State student chapter, community service recently took on a whole new meaning this spring when they traveled to Joplin, Mo. to participate in a unique, week-long rebuilding project entitled Blitz Build 2012.

The students took part in a seven-day process to rebuild four homes for families devastated by the 2011 tornados. Despite record rainfall, the students worked around the clock to complete the project on March 24. In total, including planning and execution, the student led project team spent over 12,000 man hours turning “new home dreams” into a welcome reality.

Equally impressive and thanks to an ongoing mentoring effort and two trainings by the AGC Safety & Health Council, the students were well prepared in safety management and maintained a zero accident record. Student project manager Josh Payne reported that the lessons learned by students working on the Blitz Build 2012 project were invaluable.

Payne says that all of the students walked away from the project knowing they had made a difference in the lives of the families they worked for in addition to the vast hands-on knowledge of construction they acquired in the process. The increased practical hands-on skills and knowledge obtained by the students will only further enrich their in classroom education, according to Payne.