Tuesday September 9, 2014
On Wednesday, September 17th, Landmark Homes, in partnership with Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board, hosted the first ever "Construction Trades Day."
Landmark Homes' President, Cliff Weaver, developed the idea for Construction Trades Day as a way to educate local youth about the shortage of skilled labor along with the successes and opportunities for Gold Collar careers right here in their hometown. With that concept in mind, Landmark Homes, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, and Lancaster County's Workforce Investment Board came together to create the first-of-its-kind Construction Trades Day, an interactive, hands-on event geared toward educating local middle and high school students, parents, counselors, and educators on the types of career opportunities available in the Construction Industry, highlighting the increasing demand for these high skill, high wage positions.
Construction Trades Day was held at Landmark's Home Towne Square community in Ephrata. Over 300 Lancaster County middle and high school students, teachers, and counselors attended the event, where they were guided through the process of new home construction via live demonstrations from local trade professionals.
Representatives from Landmark Homes' vendors volunteered their time to speak to the students about the role of their particular segment in the construction industry and what opportunities are available. Career fields represented included HVAC, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, concrete and masonry, engineering, land development, and heavy equipment operations. Demonstrators included representatives from County Line Mechanical, Lanco Mechanical, Ray Good Electric, Lezzer Lumber, Quality Flooring, Rainbow Painting, First Rate Drywall, and Weaver Precast.
The event took place in two sessions: morning, 9-11 and afternoon, 12-2. In each session, students, counselors, and teachers were divided into groups led by Landmark Homes' employees. The new home construction tour consisted of nine stops throughout the Home Towne Square community. Landmark's own employees also participated in the tour as speakers and demonstrators: Nick Smoker, Director of Design & Engineering, and Drafter, Rob Zook, gave students insight into the field of drafting and design as the basis for home construction; Landmark Homes' framers showed students how the foundation of a home comes together; Lee Bothell, Director of Community Planning, emphasized the importance of Storm Water Management in a new home community; Debbie Weaver demonstrated excavating and heavy equipment operations; Community Sales Manager, Kelly Bricker, took students through a finished model home where they were able to see how all of the individual steps to building a home finally come together.
Employees from Landmark Homes, Thaddeus Stevens, and Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board were onsite throughout the day to assist with the event. Students from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology also attended the event and accompanied the tour, making themselves available to answer questions, and giving the younger students an idea of what studying the construction trades involves. Home Towne Square residents also volunteered their time to the event to assist in serving lunch to the attendees.
The inaugural event was a great success for all participants involved. The students in attendance enjoyed seeing all of the steps involved in constructing a new home as they actively watched the demonstrations, asking questions along the way. Many students expressed continued interest in the construction industry. For the students, Construction Trades Day truly opened the door to all of the many career opportunities available to them in the construction trades.