A two-day event in Howell Township will bring over 2,600 high school students from across the state to learn about skilled trade opportunities.

Construction Career Day was held Thursday and again today at the Operating Engineers Local 324 Training and Education Center off of M-59. Now in its 11th year, the event hosted students from about 80 school districts, as well as representatives from contracting partners, various agencies, and colleges with construction curriculum. In addition to speaking with those representatives, students were able to get a look at OE 324’s 515-acre facility and operate some of the construction equipment under the direct guidance of professionals from all sectors of the industry.

Communications Director Dan McKernan says they are seeking the “workers of tomorrow” by trying to identify next generation and get them interested early on, due to the industry's need for skilled workers. He says it's part of an ongoing, coordinated effort with other trades and the State of Michigan.

Training Coordinator for OE Local 324, John Osika, says there's significant value in introducing students to different skilled trades and potentially setting them on a path toward a wealth of related careers.

Democrat Elissa Slotkin, a candidate for the 8th Congressional District seat, attended Thursday’s event and praised OE 324 as a center for connecting students to potential and substantial careers. The OE 324 recently announced their endorsement of Slotkin, citing her commitment to rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and maintaining prevailing wage laws. (DK/JK)