Notre Dame hosted more than 800 area high school students and educators from 17 schools for the first Building Trades Day on Friday, Oct. 13.
The event was an opportunity for students to meet local employers, explore trades education and career opportunities in the greater South Bend community, and see how their classroom learning can build a foundation for future success. This comes at a critical time for the industry, according to Sr. Director of Construction and Quality Assurance Tony Polotto.
"The construction industry has suffered from more than a 30-year decline with a severe depletion of contractors and manpower to meet the current construction needs across the country," Polotto said. "We were able to utilize the Notre Dame brand and size of construction projects/programs to generate interest from the contractors and schools to make it an eventful day for anyone exploring a career in construction. This event was a true partnership to enhance our contractor's exposure to the next generation of builders and to let the students see what large commercial construction has to offer. "
More than 60 employers and training partners participated, interacting with students and leading hands-on activities at Stepan Center. Students were also able to tour current building projects on campus, including the new research building and new men's residence hall.