AEM Launches 2009 Student Competition

Words: Dan Kamys

AEM Launches 2009 Student Competition



High school students across the country have an opportunity to learn about construction-related careers through the Association of Equipment Manufacturers' (AEM) Construction Challenge teen competition.

The AEM Construction Challenge, a problem-solving program in its second year, is introducing students across the country to the skills they could be using on the jobsite in the coming years, as federal and state governments seek to fund badly needed infrastructure projects through an economic stimulus package and other funding mechanisms.

On Feb. 7, more than 230 student teams will participate in 15 regional qualifying rallies designed to engage teens through a hands-on, educational experience. AEM sponsors the Construction Challenge in partnership with the Destination ImagiNation nonprofit organization. The challenge offers an opportunity for students, teachers, parents and community leaders to learn more about available industry careers, as well as how critical off-road equipment is to creating and maintaining the high quality of life enjoyed in Europe and North America.

The Feb. 7 regional rallies are scheduled for Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Cincinnati; Dallas; Denver; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee; Minneapolis; Enid, Okla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Sacramento; Seattle; and Toronto, Ontario.

Even before the renewed focus on rebuilding infrastructure, the construction industry was concerned about meeting the demand for trained workers as a large portion of its current workforce enters retirement. With the federal stimulus plan designed to add even more jobs, the industry hopes to encourage young people to pursue jobs in construction.

Students who participate in the Construction Challenge rallies will learn about careers related to the equipment manufacturing industry, which includes more than 2,000 companies manufacturing, selling or operating equipment. For more information, visit constructionchallenge.org.

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