Inspiring Tomorrow’s Workforce

The CEFGA CareerExpo links students directly to professionals in the areas of construction, utility contracting, highway contracting, electrical contracting, mechanical contracting, energy, mining and more. The CareerExpo features hands-on displays that allow students to engage with industry leaders, equipment and materials, and tap into their unique skills and interests. The event also features the SkillsUSA State Championships, a competition in which students showcase their skills in a number of construction-related disciplines.

2020 Metrics

Middle School, High School and Technical College Students
Companies Represented
Square Feet of Exhibit and Competition Space

CEFGA’s Flagship Event Celebrates Move to New Home at Georgia World Congress Center

Tosha Ford
Daniel Jean-Baptiste
Bryan Ayiteyfio

While public health concerns over COVID-19 forced the cancellation of Day 2 of the 2020 CareerExpo and SkillsUSA State Championships, CEFGA’s progress in introducing middle school, high school and college students to the skilled trades was clear.

Several new features were on display at the Georgia World Congress Center, the event’s new home after having grown steadily over its 16-year history. A World of Water joined the other Worlds representing various construction-related disciplines, and CEFGA’s World of Interviews enabled the K12 Pipeline team to connect students and employers for conversations about job, apprenticeship and internship opportunities.

“This event is good for construction because it has all the trades out here, and for the kids coming out here, it opens their eyes to see all the different things they can do,” Allison-Smith Company Vice-President Michael Mikko said. “People don’t realize the money that they can make in this industry. I think it’s very beneficial that they get a first-hand look and talk to contractors and employees directly and see what their options are.”

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Industry Partner Quotes

One of the key things for all of us to be successful is to fill the labor shortage that we are currently experiencing. Organizations like CEFGA and opportunities like [CareerExpo] for students to come out and see what other options are out there are going to be key for us.

Paul Nielsen, Swinerton

Our initiative for workforce development is to educate people that construction is a very lucrative industry, and that while having a degree for some people is great, you don’t always need a degree to be successful.

Sandy Swanson, Holder Construction Company

World of Student Interviews Fostered Valuable Connections for Students and Employers

For much of the day during the 2020 CareerExpo on March 12, CEFGA’s new World of Student Interviews was a beehive of activity. Six employers conducted more than 40 interviews with student attendees, and dozens more young people stopped by for information and left with a clearer understanding of how CEFGA can help them move toward a career in the skilled trades.

CEFGA now has more than 355 students in its career path pipeline, which leverages relationships with teachers and counselors to build a growing list of students seeking careers in construction. This effort is designed to facilitate placements ranging from work-based learning to internships and apprenticeships to post-secondary education to full- and part-time jobs in the industry.

“We’re always looking to hire more students and get more students interested in construction earlier,” said Maxair Mechanical’s Scott Gaglia, one of the World of Interviews’ participating employers. “It’s immensely important to let students know what’s out there.”

Worlds of Construction

The following Worlds were featured at the 16th Annual CareerExpo:

  • Building Trades & Apprenticeships

  • Concrete

  • Construction Management & Sustainability

  • Drywall

  • Electrical Contracting

  • Energy

  • Georgia Dot

  • Hand & Power Tools

  • Heating & Air

  • Highway Construction

  • Mining

  • Masonry

  • Painting

  • Plumbing & Mechanical

  • Roofing

  • Safety

  • Tile & Stone

  • Water

  • Student Interviews

  • Welding

NEXT: Financials