• Franklin students get construction job site experience

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     Franklin High School job shadow students

    Franklin High School students (from left) Giacomo Bordignon, Dora Manzotti and Nathan Arzate talk with Monte Carothers, project superintendent from Todd Construction, at the Kellogg Middle School construction site. (Photo by David Mayne)

    Franklin High School students Nathan Arzate, Giacomo Bordignon and Dora Manzotti had a unique opportunity to go behind the fences and see what really goes on at a major construction site. Their visit to the new Kellogg Middle School site was part of Portland Public Schools’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) work-based learning program.

    The experience was eye-opening for Nathan, who said: “I know now what I want to do after high school. I want to work on construction, in the field, managing operations. … How do I sign up for other construction related opportunities?”

    The visit was part of the PPS’s Job Shadow Day. The Franklin students met the on-site project superintendent, project manager and foreman for Todd Construction, along with PPS’s assistant project manager and the senior project manager for the construction management team.

    They talked about how they got started in the construction industry and what they enjoy about their jobs. The students toured the job site, which is currently dominated by concrete foundations for the building and concrete wall forms. These form walls will be tilted vertically in the near future to become the first walls of the new school.

    During the 2019-20 year, the PPS CTE department is working with business and industry partners to develop career exploration opportunities for high school students. When PPS asked Todd Construction to participate, its employees were eager to help. With an active construction site just blocks from Franklin High School, they knew they could provide a great visual example of the type of work these students might pursue in the future.

    Such outreach events are important to Todd Construction officials because the industry is experiencing a labor shortage, and they hope more young people will consider careers in construction. Unless students are given the opportunity to see the types of jobs available in construction, and the educational path it takes to get there, they may overlook what could be a satisfying and lucrative career.

    “We want to do our part to help expose students to careers they may not otherwise learn about.” said Ken Dixon, Vice President of Todd Construction

    More site visits are planned during the year. Students who are interested should contact Raquel Laiz (rlaiz@pps.net) or Jay Keuter (jkeuter@pps.net).

    -David Mayne, Bond Communications Manager