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3/12/2013 11:30:00 AM Students gain hands-on experience at trades expo
Students from area middle schools were given hands-on experience in building trades recently at an Illinois Valley Building Trades/Illinois Valley Community College Expo at IVCC, Oglesby. Eighth-graders learned first-hand what it was like to lay brick, bend sheet metal, operate heavy equipment, fit pipe, signal a crane, finish concrete, see how ironwork is installed, wire electricity, and power nail under the guidance of experienced trades and craftsmen. Representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also were present to provide students with tips on working safely. The expo was a joint venture by Illinois Valley Building Trades and IVCC College, as part of an ongoing partnership designed to provide students the opportunity to learn about jobs in construction fields. Students were also provided information on the steps needed to prepare for careers in the building trades. “Careers in construction are becoming more complex and require strong backgrounds in math and science,” said Steve Conrad, president of the Illinois Valley Building Trades Council. “If you can’t read a ruler, add quantities, figure square feet, estimate weights or figure volume, you are not going to make it in today’s building trades. Professional construction workers have to know what metals can be used together, how electricity works and how hydraulics enable weights to be moved. Without this background knowledge in math and science, students aiming for a career in the construction industry will never excel. “
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