Elizabeth students get taste of life in trades

Trip to Independence community shows possible career paths

Tabatha Stewart
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 3/19/21

Students from Elizabeth High School left the classroom behind March 10 and traveled to the Independence community, where they learned about the many career opportunities in trade industries such as …

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Elizabeth students get taste of life in trades

Trip to Independence community shows possible career paths

Posted

Students from Elizabeth High School left the classroom behind March 10 and traveled to the Independence community, where they learned about the many career opportunities in trade industries such as new construction, water management, storm drain management and road construction. The EZTV crew from Elizabeth High filmed the outing and created a video that will be used to educate students about the various careers.

“We came up with the idea of making career videos, and doing a video on building construction made sense because Elbert County is right on the start of a major trend in employment in building construction,” said Leanne Cook, who serves at the post-secondary options and internships liaison for the school district.

Students had the opportunity to interview Tim Craft, developer of Independence, and Jim Yates, the Independence project manager, and learn more about how to become a developer and what a career in development looks like, and what the scope of the Independence community will look like when it’s completed.

“Being involved with the youth is something that is important to Craft Companies,” said Yates. “It’s important to help them find their way if college is not a choice for them. There are so many skills that can be learned to help them attain a career.”

Chris Sandelli and Chris Landry, project managers for Scott Contracting, fielded questions from students about career choices in the field of contracting, specifically land development, before touring a water reclamation facility and a potable water facility. Students wrapped up the tour with interviews of two new residents to the community.

The project was paid for through the Homegrown Talent Initiative grant the district received nearly two years ago. Resident David Eddy, who helped secure the grant, said projects and videos like this one will help a lot of students in Elbert County.

“In my opinion, I don’t feel the standard high school curriculum was addressing the need and opportunity for a lot of their students when it came to career choices,” said Eddy. “This project provides students a top level glimpse of job opportunities and careers that they really aren’t exposed to in the current curriculum.”

Eddy said they hope to use more HTI funds in the future to create new programs to offer students, including internships, concurrent enrollment and certificate programs that students can use after leaving high school.

“Today was important to the home building industry as a whole,” said Yates. “These are very smart kids, and maybe they don’t want to sit behind a desk all day. These are not lesser career paths. These programs will help them learn skills and gain real life experience.”

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