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Mike Miles, Caltrans District 7 Director, spoke to the students encouraging them to stay in school, to consider a career in the construction industry and to choose careers that offer fair pay, stability, good benefits and growth potential.

District 7 Addresses Students at Construction Career Event
by  Maria Raptis
Issue Date: 05/2011

The construction industry leads an effort to help prepare students to transition into secure jobs and leadership roles.

Over 2,000 students from more than 40 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) high schools attended the third Annual Greater Los Angeles Construction Career Awareness Day on April 7 at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College (LATTC). Caltrans and its regional transportation partner, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), co-sponsored the event along with the California Community Connection Corporation (C4), the Associated General Contractors of California (AGC), LAUSD, LATTC, Turner Construction, and Wells Fargo.

Nearly 40 exhibitors representing the construction trade participated. Students learned about various trades and how to prepare for careers in construction such as carpentry, plumbing, welding, solar energy, electrical, heating and air-conditioning, pipe trades, landscaping, paving and many others. Students explored other construction-related career choices including engineering, surveying, architecture, project management, construction financing and management, community development and transportation construction and maintenance.

Mike Miles, Caltrans District 7 Director, spoke to a crowd of high school students encouraging them to stay in school, to consider a career in the construction industry and to choose careers that offer fair pay, stability, good benefits and growth potential.

“Some of the best in the industry are gathered today to encourage you to seek a career in construction,” said Miles. “Make use of these valuable resources by interacting and asking questions of the many experts here for you.”

LAUSD high school students and LATTC college students were also introduced to available classes, internship and career opportunities in the construction industry. Students toured the LATTC campus, attended workshops, viewed exhibits and equipment and met professionals in various construction fields.

“We and our partners are committed to ensuring that the construction industry will have the talent necessary to continue its important work, said Kelly Schmader, LAUSD interim chief facilities executive.

District 7 showcased three units including the Materials Lab, structure maintenance and bridge design and maintenance special crews. The Materials Lab brought equipment and chunks of asphalt to show the importance of quality control, inspection and testing for pavement and metal strength and composition for everything used on the state highway system. Maintenance Special Crews displayed a piece of heavy equipment – truck used to hang large freeway signs and the Structure maintenance team had an interactive display where students used the computer to design their own bridge.

Click here to design your bridge:    http://bridgecontest.usma.edu/

Other speakers included Dr. Roland Chapdelaine, LATTC President; Stephen McGlover, CEO, California Community Connection Corporation; Erin Volk, Director, AGC of California Construction Education Foundation.

“We and our partners are committed to ensuring that the construction industry will have the talent necessary to continue its important work,” said Kelly Schmader, LAUSD interim chief facilities executive.

Roy Jasso, vice president of Wells Fargo’s community development program, offered the following advice to students, “If you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there. Set a road map for yourself and get there. Take ownership of your career and invest in yourself.”

 

 

 

Caltrans brought a freeway sign installation truck to show some of the large equipment that the department uses in its daily activities. Eddie Wilson, Caltrans Equipment Operator II, West Sign Crew, Bandini Maintenance Station, volunteered to share his job duties with the students. 
(on right) John C. Rogers, senior bridge engineer, Structure Maintenance and Investigations, Caltrans Headquarters in Sacramento, participated to give student a hands-on interactive experience in designing their own bridge structure.   Hong Tien Tran and Nelson Vo, Area Bridge Maintenance Engineering (ABME), Maintenance Division, also volunteered at the event.  (from left) Sam (Huey Min) Tzou, senior transportation engineer, Materials Field Testing unit, and Nelson Alvarado, civil engineer at District 7 Materials Lab, sponsored a booth to demonstrate steps that Caltrans takes to test concrete and other materials to ensure that Caltrans high standards for safety, quality and compliance are met.  District 7 offered career information in several fields from civil engineering, surveying, environmental engineering, and more.