Return to Headlines

SSD Communications Team Hosts Trades Camp

June 20, 2024 - Last week, 18 rising 8th, 9th, and 10th-grade students in North County experienced a 4-day immersion into the working world of skilled trades careers at SSD’s Building Trades Academy.


Andi Harpring, community partnerships coordinator, partnered with Exploring - Greater St. Louis Area Council to develop and host the event, which included projects that introduced students to North Tech’s skilled trades programs, visits to area construction sites, and presentations from regional employers. The academy was modeled after a 2019 program hosted at South Tech.


North Tech’s Pat Hanneken, construction trades instructor, and Byron Lane, carpentry instructor, guided students through carpentry and floor laying projects as an introduction to their programs and supported their exploration. Students visited Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, Painters District Council 59, Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council, and worked with CCDI - the Construction Career Development Initiative.


Harpring was pleased with the outcomes of the camp. “Teachers incorporated math in various ways that instantly translated to the student projects. It was great to see students applying math with such enthusiasm,” she said. She also noted that students were engaged and focused on their construction projects because teachers were having them make adjustments and helping them improve their technique in real-time.


“Before attending the trades training facilities, students reference their career interests in a general sense, using all-encompassing terms like “construction” or “engineering.” After the site visits, students spoke about their interests specifically, demonstrating their understanding of pathways within broader career fields,” she said.


Fox2NOW spotlighted the academy on its June 13, 2024 broadcast. Group photo provided by Rachel Boemer of CCDI.