POMPANO BEACH  —  Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County will join forces with more than a dozen construction companies to help about 300 high school students explore potential careers in construction during the Generals Construction Career Day on Saturday.

The organization’s Generals Club, a year-round program that introduces students to skilled construction trades, will host the event at the Thomas D. Stephanis Unit Boys & Girls Club, 212 NW 16th St., Pompano Beach.  

A statement from the organization said although the construction industry has been hit hard by the economic slowdown, the U. S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an increase of 19 percent in “wage and salary jobs in the construction industry” through 2018. 

In Florida, the Agency for Workforce Innovation projects construction payrolls in Broward and Miami-Dade counties should grow by about 20 percent by 2018, the statement said.

“Not every child is wired to go to college,” Jeff Slade, who co-chairs the Generals Construction Career Day, said in the statement.

“Many skilled construction trades offer a different path to well-paying career choices, through apprenticeships, vocational education or on-the-job training,” said Slade, who is project executive with Miller Construction Company. “With Boomers leaving the workforce in the coming years, it’s crucial to identify and begin training construction’s next generation.” 

Jim Robertson, another event co-chairman, welcomed the interest of companies.

“It is wonderful to see even competitive trades working together for the benefit of the kids,” said Robertson, who is president of Allegiance Crane & Equipment.  “At the booths, students will be able to do hands-on activities, such as building a wall, welding, even running a crane. “

Bob Case of The Case Team is another event co-chairman.

Career Day activities will include hands-on sessions conducted by representatives from construction firms.  Participants will visit as many as 20 different booths for hands-on experiences in different trades, including earthwork by Chuck’s Backhoe, roofing by Advanced Roofing, electric and drywall by MSP Electric and Lotspeich,  welding and wrenching by Steel Fabricators.

They will also get a chance to experience masonry and forming, courtesy of Coastal Masonry & Commercial Forming; cabinetry by Premier & Cayman; plumbing by Right Way; painting and stucco work by M&P Reynolds & Universal Drywall; air-conditioning by AA Advanced Air & Thermal Concepts; crane operation by Allegiance Crane; paving by Signature Design; and renewable energy/solar power by Hypower and AGT.

Sessions for parents will explain training requirements, salary levels and the benefits of jobs in the construction industry that are open to them as well as their children.

Year-round Generals Club activities include field trips to construction sites, mentoring by construction professionals and a woodworking shop program.  Led by volunteers from local construction companies, students are able to gain both mentoring and hands-on experiences to help guide them toward career choices.

Brian Quail, CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, said more than 1,000 teens have taken part in the Generals Club program since 2007.  

“At the Boys & Girls Clubs, we deliver on three core programs for our 12,000 kids: academic success, good character and citizenship and healthy lifestyles,” Quail said.

“Combining those basics with access to construction industry leaders helps students shape a more positive view of their own potential in whatever field they choose to pursue,” he said.

For more information, call 954-941-2697 or visit www.bgcbc.org.