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Evan Bowersmith, Cole Perkins, Dane Perkins, and Parker Benner learn about the electronics of a car.

Workshops give youth experience in the construction and AutoTech trades

By Amanda Forquer, 4-H Educator

Thirty-five youth participated in the Career Exploration Workshop for Construction and Automotive Technology on April 13 at the Tri-Rivers Career Center. The participants learned valuable life skills and skills they could potentially use in a career in the construction or automotive technology (AutoTech) career paths.

A number of skills taught at the workshop presented challenges many adults struggle to complete. For example, in AutoTech the participants rotated and balanced tires, changed automotive oil, completed a multi-point inspection, studied auto electronics, changed belts, and many more related tasks. The workshop was challenging, but enjoyable for those involved.

“Overall, I really, really liked the workshop,” said Cole Perkins, an 11-year-old participant of the AutoTech workshop.

In the construction workshop the participants built frames for pouring concrete walls, framed wood walls for a storage shed, built their own toolbox with nameplate, operated large equipment (e.g., skid-steer or excavator), among other things.

The youth expressed their support for the workshop in their evaluations. Some of comments were, “I learned how to basically do everything,” “IT WAS AWESOME,” and “It was a lot of fun.” This is the second year for the dual workshop and nine returning youth chose a different workshop than they did last year.

Amanda Forquer, 4-H educator with OSU Extension in Morrow County, coordinated the successful event with help from David Willey, the Construction Trades Academy Instructor of Tri-Rivers Career Center, and Lucas Bledsoe, the AutoTech Instructor of Tri-Rivers Career Center. Willey and Bledsoe, along with some students from their classes at Tri-Rivers, were the experts for the day. Excellent teaching from the experts on hand enabled the students to easily understand the material and receive value from the information presented. They taught the basic skills needed to help the participants make an informed decision regarding whether to pursue a career in one of these areas. At the conclusion of the workshops, each youth took home a toolkit to continue practicing their new skills at home.

Thirteen youth participated in the construction workshop that was taught by David Willey, instructor of the Construction Trades Academy at Tri-Rivers Career Center, and student instructors of the program.

In the construction career path there is a 12% growth rate, which is higher than the U.S. average. The AutoTech career path is experiencing a 6% growth rate, which is average. This shows there is a demand in these areas and young people would benefit from pursuing these careers.

This fall students will have the chance to explore the careers of EMT/paramedic, firefighter, police officer, and an Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer. To learn more about the Career Exploration Workshops contact Amanda Forquer at forquer.13@osu.edu.

Twenty-two youth participated in the AutoTech workshop that was taught by Lucas Bledsoe, instructor of AutoTech at Tri-Rivers Career Center, and student instructors of the AutoTech program.

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