Talk about hands-on learning!
About 350 students from four Las Cruces Public Schools high schools were in the parking lot of Rawson Builders Supply and Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Technical Studies, 2345 and 2355 E. Nevada Ave., to participate in the Las Cruces Home Builders Association’s (LCHBA) Tyson Brown Memorial Build My Future Showcase 2021.
A total of 25 hands-on exhibits were part of the showcase, as local builders and contractors gave students the opportunity to try their hands at everything from welding, drywalling and stucco work to framing, plumbing and cement work.
Las Cruces Utilities and the Las Cruces Fire Department also had booths – and a fire truck – at the showcase. DACC also had a booth.
LCPS Superintendent Ralph Ramos visited with students at the event and called it “a celebration” that highlights the collaboration between LCPS and local builders and the construction industry.
That collaboration gives students who are graduating from local high schools more options as they consider their futures at a college or university, in the military or joining the workforce, Ramos said.
“Today was all about workforce,” he said about Build My Future.
Ramos said he could feel students’ excitement during his visit to the event, and heard them saying, “This is what I’m interesting in.” Ramos said he also heard students “diving in deep with questions” about construction-industry jobs as they spoke directly with professionals on site.
Ramos said he was approached during his first month as interim superintendent about the school district providing bus transportation for students to participate in the event. He said an enthusiastic “yes” to the request.
Students were building wall panels at the Hakes Brothers residential construction booth.
“These students have a hand in building one of the Hakes Brothers homes,” said builder Ryan O’Hea, who is a member of LCHBA’s board of directors. Hakes Brothers was a major sponsor of Build My Future.
“Hands-on experience is exactly what this day is about,” LCHBA Executive Officer Nicole Black said.
“This is awesome,” said Maggie Loya, of Desert View Homes, who served as chair of the event.
The event “was held to inspire young people to pursue careers in the skilled trades, and to change public perception and raise awareness about the construction industry that promotes a skilled workforce for the future,” LCHBA said.
The first Build My Future Showcase was held in 2019. There was no event in 2020 because of the pandemic. This year, the showcase was renamed in honor of Las Cruces builder Tyson Brown, who was vice president of LCHBA. He died suddenly Aug. 3. The Tyson Brown Memorial Fund has been set up at First New Mexico Bank to benefit Brown’s wife and two children.
For more information, contact LCHBA Executive Officer Nicole Black at 575-993-9288 and firstname.lastname@example.org. LCHBA is located at 2825 N. Main St.