Erin Volk, AGC of California’s Construction Education Foundation director, passed on some details about the association’s recent CareerGPS/ Construction Career Awareness Day event at CalExpo in Sacramento. More than 8,000 students participated, which is a major success in this day and age.

Volk says the foundation decided to merge its annual career awareness day event with a much larger career exploration event, CareerGPS, a program of LEED-Linking Education and Economic Development, an employer-education partnership serving the greater Sacramento region.
“The goal was to maximize available resources and reach a wider audience of Sacramento area students,” she says.

The amazing student turnout at CareerGPS set a new record for the CEF for the highest number of students ever reached at a single construction career awareness event in California, Volk adds. Students began their experience in a general session emceed by Mark S. Allen, local television host (host of “Good Day Sacramento”) and radio personality. During this session students were given information about the event and the importance of considering and fully exploring different career options, including careers in construction.
Students were then sent off to explore the 155 total exhibits in four large exhibit halls representing eight different industry sectors, with construction, engineering and architecture located in one hall extending out to a connecting parking lot.
Volk says the busy indoor and outdoor construction exhibit areas were packed with 55 exhibitors offering career information from all areas of the industry, including building, heavy civil, residential and the trades. Many exhibitors grabbed the student’s attention with hands-on activities and equipment demonstrations.

“Construction Education Foundation board member Cathy Skeen spent time at the foundation exhibit booth and said she was impressed by the number of students who came prepared with good questions for exhibitors and who engaged in thoughtful conversation with her about construction careers,” Volk says.

Students also had the option of attending one of eight workshops on construction careers presented by Joe Bean from Teichert Construction and Volk. The event program featured an article on a construction professional, Gning Saelee, project engineer for Unger Construction, highlighting what she appreciates most about her job in the industry.

As the presenting sponsor of CareerGPS, the foundation and construction career paths received a great deal of visibility at the event, represented side by side with other industries such as medical and business/banking, Volk says. The foundation also had the opportunity to address local educators and administrators at a special evening reception after the event where it gave a plug for construction as a viable career option for their students.

The foundation will wrap up the 2011 Construction Career Awareness Day event schedule with the 2011 Bay Area CCAD on Nov. 8 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The event is being presented in partnership with AGC Construction Education Foundation, AGC Bay Area Districts and the Alameda County Office of Education. With a $15,000 contribution, Skanska Civil West is the host sponsor for the event. Two thousand Bay Area students are expected to attend, which will put the grand total of students attending a 2011 CCAD event just over 12,000, which is triple the annual attendance average. For more information on participating in the Bay Area CCAD, contact Erin Volk at, or call (916) 371-2422.