TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - With several big construction jobs coming to our area, workers are needed in the trade industry.
Thursday nearly 50 high school students stepped up to the plate ready to work.
It's a growing industry with a lot of jobs to fill. Trade workers specialize in various fields such as carpentry, sheet metal, electricians and more.
"The bulk of the workers are coming up on their retirement ages so there is not a whole lot of back fill there," said Matt Vander Hooven, general manager for OCP Contractors. "This is just a huge opportunity to fill and just grow that opportunity."
High school seniors from across our area came together with local commercial construction employers for the first ever "Draft Day."
It was hosted by the construction leadership council to get students on the job fast.
"We have landed a lot of large projects, the Cleveland Cliffs, Walgreens, and First Solar are all our projects so we will be looking to fill a lot of those positions," said Mike Keane, director of field operations for Rudolph Libbe. "This is a great opportunity for us to interview the younger kids and get them in the trades."
While some students used the opportunity to network, others already have their plans set for after graduation with a local contractor.
MiKayla is a senior at Southview who recently learned about what it takes to be a sheet metal worker and is applying for apprenticeship after she graduates in a couple of weeks.
"It makes me feel really prepared because all my friends are going to college and they are like panicking because they don't know what's coming next," said MiKayla Rummell. "And like, I kind of have it all planned out and I know what's going to happen."
Adrian Stribling is a senior at Waite High School and has been a part of their carpentry program for two years. He already has a job lined up with OCP Contractors and is excited to get to work. He thinks others should think about a career in the trades too.
"I chose the path because I like doing it, working with my hands," said Stribling. "I had a great teacher that led me into it and I think other people should start to do it just if they like to work hard, make good money, and not go into debt."
Several of the contractors at the CLC's Draft Day say they did make connections that will lead to hires for their companies in the near future.
Filling these empty positions isn't only good for our workforce, but also for all the local projects and there deadlines.