NEW BRITAIN - Two E.C. Goodwin Technical High School students have received scholarships from KBE Building Corp., a construction company with offices in Connecticut and Maryland.
Mayte Casiano of New Britain and Aaron Boutin of Bristol were among 34 seniors graduating from the Connecticut Technical High School System awarded $17,000 in scholarships from the company.
“The number of young professionals pursuing degrees and certifications in the construction trades is declining and we wanted to support those students who aim to advance their skills in these fields, as well as students pursuing programs in construction management, architecture and engineering fields,” Simon F. Etzel Jr., senior vice president of KBE, said. “As a company, we place a high value on education and mentorship, and these scholarships are a way for us to help Connecticut to grow and maintain a highly skilled construction workforce.
A 2015 workforce survey by the Associated General Contractors of America found that nearly 80 percent of construction businesses were having difficulty finding qualified skilled labor. Also, only 3 percent of young adults who knew what field they want to study or pursue a career in named the construction trade, according to a 2016 poll commissioned by the National Association of Homebuilders.
“Encouraging and supporting young adults to pursue certificates, degrees and careers in construction-related fields requires a proactive approach,” Etzel said. “From KBE’s unique ‘Ground Up’ internship training program for high school students to monthly education forums with our millennial workforce, we aim to educate teens and young adults about the opportunities available in the construction field, as well as provide them with opportunities to learn and grow in their careers.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the construction sector will add about 790,000 jobs in the decade spanning 2014 to 2024.
KBE first awarded scholarships to state technical school students in 2014.
To be eligible, students must be pursuing building industry-related higher education, such as four-year college programs in structural engineering, civil engineering, mechanical/electrical engineering, construction management or architecture. Students pursuing certification programs for building trades such as electricity, plumbing or HVAC are also eligible.
The scholarships were presented in a ceremony featuring Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School on June 13.
To see the full list of recipients, visit cocommunications.app.box.com/s/t973hghxdq9rni3jw2zhf9b215zd4a0m.
Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.