Educator Externship 2020

AGC-Oregon Columbia Chapter (AGC) and Willamette Education Service District (WESD) began the Educator Externship program in 2016 as way to connect educators to the construction industry. Through the Externship program, educators learn how to engage all students in the professional skills needed to succeed in careers, and help students identify career opportunities within not just the construction industry, but other careers as well. The program has seen exponential growth over the last three years reaching communities across Oregon and SW Washington, and in 2019 alone, 123 teachers participated.

Like so many other activities this year, Educator Externship was impact by COVID-19. Thankfully, through strong partnerships with education and industry, the program continued in a modified form. Seventy educators from across Oregon and SW Washington participated with this year’s program and while many site visits and activities occurred virtually, some were able to happen in person. This year also saw several new industry partners participate, particularly in SW Washington. And as an added feature, AGC and WESD teamed up with Solid Form Fabrication to organize and host the company’s second annual UnConference. The UnConference allowed Educator Externship participants to debrief and discuss opportunities to further connect industry to the classroom.

While 2020 presented many challenges, we anticipate and will plan for a full program in 2021. If you’d like more information on how to participate, please visit WESD’s website for more info, or contact Frosti Adams.

Careers in Construction Month

Careers in Construction Month is an national initiative held in October and led by National Center for Construction Education and Research’s (NCCER) Build Your Future (BYF) Campaign. The goal of Careers in Construction Month (CICM) is to raise awareness about construction careers and inspire the next generation of skilled trade workers.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has adversely impacted many of the construction-focused events and activities that sought to increase public awareness of the skilled trades. A countless number of industry site visits, career fairs, job-shadows, and internships have been cancelled over the last five months. While these actions are necessary given current conditions, we must find new ways to continue promoting the construction industry and its high-wage and high-demand careers. This year, CICM has created an opportunity to recapture the momentum lost as a result of COVID-19 and promote the new virtual work-based learning platforms the education system has implemented.

Initial steps have begun in contacting regional partners to gauge interest in developing and implementing events in accordance with CICM. We are happy to report interest is high. The goal will be to host one to two virtual events in several local areas across Oregon and SW Washington that promote skilled trade careers and the new platforms utilized by education entities. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Aaron Bouchane.

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