Career pathways: Exploring construction programs in high school

Porter County high school students are fortunate to have several options when exploring career pathways in construction and skilled trades.

Renovation of Valparaiso’s Grand Trunk Railroad Depot is the most visible work of students enrolled at the Porter County Career and Technical Education Center.

The historic, wood framed depot—built in 1912—first gained attention three years ago when it was moved from its original site to a location near the education center.

Barbara Biernat, Construction Trades instructor, has 25 students assigned to the depot renovation project. Last year, students stripped the inside of the building and also built 4000 square feet of decking to replace the original rail platform. Read full article

Wanted: Great workers

As local construction firms ramp up for what is expected to be a busy summer, hiring managers have their eyes focused on folks with certain talents.

The one attribute that transcends all roles in the company is an absolute appreciation for excellent safety performance, said Chris Buckman, Vice President of Corporate Construction, BMWC Constructors Inc. He emphasized that this attribute is a condition of employment. Read full article

Source: LeGen Leaders
Employer spotlight: Putting apprenticeship training to use

Apprenticeship programs provide a critical connection between students and the construction industry. With increasing concern regarding the skills gap, apprenticeship programs are becoming more and more important to provide the necessary training to the future of the construction workforce.

“The greatest advantage to working through an apprenticeship program is the amount of experience you will get that is directly related to what you will do day after day. Being able to gain valuable experience, while collecting a paycheck, is a huge advantage and sets you on a path for a rewarding career,” said Jon Gilmore, President and CEO of Tonn and Blank Construction. Read full article 

We Build Northwest Indiana

The website identifies over 20 of the apprenticeship training programs found in NWI. The site includes specific information such as; application dates, costs, minimum qualifications, and contacts for each trade. It serves as a great resource for careers in building and construction for parents and students as they consider a future in the industry.
Engage with our schools as partners in education, training, and informing our students about high quality jobs available in the region. To participate,  fill out this form.
For more information on the Manufacturing Consortium contact Sandy Alvarez at
219-462-2940, ext. 33, or
For more information on this newsletter contact Barbara Grimsgard at
219-462-2940, ext. 28,  or