VIDEO: Students, Bulldozers and Virtual Reality Cranes

By Mike Brownfield | May 16, 2013

Governor Snyder visited Michigan Construction Career Day at the Operating Engineers Training and Education Center in Howell on Tuesday where he met with students and instructors during a tour of the 515-acre site.

All told, 1,700 middle and high school students from across Michigan attended the event and had the opportunity to experience wood cutting and nailing, copper pipe sweating, electrical wire pulling, masonry, heavy equipment repair, and wind-turbines demonstrations. The goal: to open their eyes to career opportunities in the construction industry.

Governor Snyder expressed his support for the program and thanked the event organizers for their efforts to help educate Michigan students.

"There's so many opportunities in the skilled trades," Governor Snyder said. "It's about showing young people this is an opportunity to get great training, have a great career, and help rebuild Michigan and reinvent our state.

Students saw first-hand a wide range of construction equipment and operations, from virtual reality crane simulators to full-sized GPS-guided bulldozers. More than 130 educators and chaperones along with 50 exhibitors and volunteers attended the event, which was sponsored by Oakland Community College and hosted by Operating Engineers 324.

In his special message to the legislature on talent development, Governor Snyder highlighted the importance of developing talent in Michigan and making sure today’s students have the skills they need for emerging careers.

"Tomorrow's opportunities cannot be realized with yesterday's skills," Snyder said. "It's time to develop the next generation of talent. Today's young employees will have multiple careers in their lifetimes. The skills they attain must be marketable and transferrable. We need to align the aptitudes and career passions of job seekers with the current and evolving needs of employers."

Learn more about reinventing talent in Michigan.