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Hundreds of teens learn different facets of construction industry at DOT event

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TWC News: Hundreds of teens learn different facets of construction industry at DOT event
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CHARLOTTE -- High school students across the Charlotte region got a rare glimpse into the construction industry Wednesday. About 700 teens filed into the Cabarrus Arena and Convention Center for North Carolina DOT'S 30th Construction Career Days event.

"I like using my mind and being creative and stuff and building stuff," said Deven Osment who plans go into construction after he graduates from high school in a couple of weeks.

The West Lincoln High School student was one of the teens to attend the event. Organizer Tim Eldridge with the Associated Builders and Contractors of the Carolinas said it's important to expose students to the various fields.

"They don't realize that the construction industry is building highways, it's industrial, it's commercial," he said. "It's not just residential.”

Fields like carpentry, masonry and electrical work are all used in the construction industry said Marvin Butler with N.C. Department of Transportation.

"We see projects beginning to take place. So there's a need for construction workers to go into that industry to work," he said.

And who better to teach them than those who do it everyday for a living? But Michelle King, a worker at Juba Aluminum Products Company, said Wednesday's event wasn't just about recruiting younger workers, but promoting diversity to encourage more women to go into the male-dominated field. And judging by this crowd, she admits they still have a long way to go.

"I think having females, having their input, having their experience...it certainly makes for a better mix, a better culture within a business," said King.

This was the 30th Construction Career Days event the N.C DOT hosted.

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