TOWNSEND — Broadwater High School is offering a construction course with hands-on experience by involving students in real-life projects.
Andrew Hopper and his coworkers -- high school students at Broadwater High School -- are on a job site, measuring and cutting boards to build a backyard garage, giving Hopper hands-on experience.
"It gives us an introduction into citing, the actual building, concrete work, really anything you do on a job site in the real world," says Hopper who is a junior.
The job site isn’t a one-day event for the students who are part of a construction technology class that spends the entire school year building a project from start to finish.
Teacher Clint Watson has constructed over 20 projects with students ranging from garages to stairways at local buildings, teaching them the trades skills in an unexpected setting, according to the students.
“When I found out we were doing everything from the foundation in the concrete work to pouring the concrete walls and doing everything, it's kind of a shock, a little surprising but it's a good experience," said senior Chase Masolo.
Many of the students say this is a good experience, but more importantly, many of them say Watson’s class inspires them to look at this as a career.
“I find this is kind of how I want one of my career choices could possibly be,” junior Tyler Masolo told MTN News. “I've learned so much and I love doing this type of stuff so it could definitely be a career for me."
The Montana Chamber of Commerce released a report from 2020 detailing that out of nearly 1000 respondents, 36% of construction, engineering, and more businesses had to turn down growth opportunities due to a lack of skilled workers.
Each of the Broadwater High School students are required to take a previous class and at least be in their junior year before joining the construction technology course.