Youth Exploring Careers in Construction

This spring, a group of youth got to explore unique career paths in the trades and learn about Heavy Highway Construction. With food and transportation provided, a diverse team of students signed up for this opportunity. The 17 students were from Afghanistan, Laos, Myanmar/Burma, and Thailand.

In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, students spent Monday afternoons learning from guest speakers and doing hands-on activities. One of the days, Local 49 Event came to their classroom at the Aŋpétu Téča Education Center for a Heavy Equipment Simulation.

Heavy Equipment Simulation in the classroom at Aŋpétu Téča Education Center.

Over spring break, they went on field trips together to different partner sites. These sites included North Central States Regional Council of Carpenter (NCSRCC), and Stevens Construction Corporation.

An interview with Ku Gay Nahpay, Youth Career Development Counselor

How do you think this program benefits the youth who participated?

“While this program focused the most on highway heavy construction, it gave the students an understanding of the construction field as a whole. Youth who are passionate about doing hands on work got to see jobs that will keep them physically active. Overall, these workshops gave youth a wide understanding of what a construction career can look like.”

Did you hear any feedback from the youth about their experience in this program?

“Some of the youth said they really appreciated this opportunity. Now, they have a better understanding of what these careers offer and how they could bring value into this workforce. Also, most of the youth hope that the next group will get to eat just as much or more food than they did.”

Can you share highlights from this program that stood out to you?

“I appreciate the diverse languages spoken in the program, which made the learning experiences more engaging. During my time with them, I was happy to learn some terms in Dari. Seeing diverse youth from different backgrounds learning and working together brings me great joy. Finally, I’m thankful for our partners that are willing to collaborate to create bridges of opportunity for our youth to explore different trades.”

Ku Gay Nahpay takes a selfie with a few students on a field trip with the Youth In Construction workshop.

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