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It's Elementary: Promoting the Construction Industry to Children

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Construction 3: Beyond the Academy: Leveraging Partnerships, Internships, and Outreach

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Jennifer A. Warrner Ball State University

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Jennifer Warrner is an instructor and internship coordinator in the Department of Technology at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

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James W. Jones Ball State University

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Dr. James W. Jones is the Construction Management Program Director and an Associate Professor in Ball State University’s Department of Technology. He has taught in the areas of leadership and construction management for more than 14 years and has more than a decade of experience managing construction projects in both field and office environments.

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As the Baby Boomer generation begins to exit the workforce, an estimated 17% of the construction workforce nationwide will retire in the next five years (BYFI, 2015). As a result, the nation needs to train an estimated 275,000 construction professionals per year to deal with growth and attrition in the industry (Whyte & Green, 2015). All of this data indicates that the construction industry could soon be in a workforce crisis. Getting students engaged in and excited about the construction industry is crucial in order to find qualified candidates to fill the positions in these industries. Colleges and universities must work to recruit students into the construction industry. College and university recruitment generally focuses on middle and high school students. However, research shows that students’ career decisions are influenced at a much earlier age. This paper highlights a new outreach initiative developed by the construction management program at University XX in Indiana to introduce elementary school children to construction. This outreach initiative utilizes innovative teaching strategies and hands-on activities to teach elementary students about the construction industry, what skills are required to work in construction, and what types of jobs are available in the construction industry. The primary goals of this program are to make younger children aware and excited about career opportunities in the construction industry and to help recruit the next generation of construction professionals.

Warrner, J. A., & Jones, J. W. (2017, June), It's Elementary: Promoting the Construction Industry to Children Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28594

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