Alumnus Returns to High School to Talk Trusses

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineMay 7, 2018
by Molly Butz


One of the easiest ways to reach high school students with information about the structural building components industry is to spend time with them in their classrooms. In mid-April, Chris Scott of Dietrich’s North America, had the pleasure of visiting and speaking with the Construction and Manufacturing classes at his alma mater, Kankakee Valley High School, in Northwest Indiana.

 “My goal was to introduce them to the [structural building components] industry, in general, and explain some of the great opportunities it has to offer,” Scott recalled. As a member of the SBCA Emerging Leaders Committee, Scott knows how critical is it to encourage young people to learn about and join the industry. In 2017, the Emerging Leaders funneled their energy into creating a video recruiting tool highlighting the many reasons why it’s great to work in the structural building component and framing industries.

The current labor shortage is one of the biggest challenges facing the component manufacturing industry, and construction overall. And it’s no secret that a lot of kids have never been exposed to trusses or wall panels. “There’s definitely a lack of awareness when it comes to our industry,” Scott noted. “It was clear these kids had no idea this industry could provide so many opportunities or how to get involved.” Spending time face to face with students helps them realize, in person, some of the opportunities available to them.

Component manufacturing and the related industries can be a lifelong career and Scott notes that it’s important to teach the kids that it’s not just about a job, “it’s about creating a roadmap for achieving their goals” regardless of what they plan to do when they graduate. “A lot of things seem really different for kids now compared to when I was in high school,” Scott said, “and this experience gave me a different perspective on how to interact with, and recruit, young people.”

If you’re looking for tools for your workforce development efforts, start with the Component Marketing Toolbox. The toolbox includes videos, customizable brochures, infographics, photos, PowerPoints, sample social media posts and guidance documents on how to group materials together for a successful, customized approach to promoting the structural building components industry!