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Build Tampa Bay Inaugural Tradeshow and Job Fair provided expert career advice to more than 700 high school students.

Build Tampa Bay hosts builders of the future!

February 09, 2016

High school students from the Tampa Bay area interested in learning about career opportunities in the building and construction industry had a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear from local employers at the inaugural Build Tampa Bay tradeshow and job fair.  Sponsored by Associated Builders and Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, Hillsborough County Public Schools, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Amalie Arena, the event was designed to provide local students with information, career advice, and immediate employment opportunities in career fields such as architecture, engineering, plumbing, masonry, machine operations, and general construction.  The opening session featured a virtual panel of who’s who in Tampa Bay, including the owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning Jeff Vinik, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Superintendent of HCPS Jeff Eakins, HCPS School Board Chair April Griffin, and the very motivating and energetic Gregg Sizemore, Vice President, EH&S and Workforce Development for ABC, Inc.  Students also heard a personal testimonial by a young man, Mario Marshall, a paint technician who began his career in the industry just three short years ago, and who is quickly taking on new responsibilities and moving up with his employer, Painters on Demand.

Students from Career and Technical programs across the district attended the event,  including Welding, Plumbing, Auto Technology, JROTC, Agricultural Mechanics, Building Construction, and other STEM or CTE-related programs.  Four career centers and 15 high schools participated, and according to a majority of the adults who either chaperoned or helped to organize the event, the students were enthusiastic, interested, well-dressed, and extremely motivated to gain information and insight into the construction industry.  Students were amazed by the wide variety of employers who participated, and many left the event with a new career focus as the result of speaking one on one with industry professionals.

According to Christopher Jargo, Assistant Director for CTE in HCPS, “This event allowed the local business community to engage with our students in a setting designed to focus on matching the needs of local employers with the students who may already have the necessary skills to do the job.”  Students were also brought up-to-date with just what employers are looking for as far as soft-skills and technical training.  As Mr. Sizemore told the students before sending them onto the trade show floor, “Put your best foot forward in everything you do.  You are CHAMPIONS!” 

To find out about Career and Technical Education programs in HCPS, visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us and type “go CTE” in the search box. 

View a story about the  event on Fox 13 at http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/84002890-story

To read more about the Build Tampa Bay event, read the blog in SPB by Janelle Irwin at http://saintpetersblog.com/?s=Trade+show

To learn more about the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., visit their website at http://www.abceastflorida.com/.

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