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New Virtual Program Aims To Attract Construction Workers

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Sarah-Arbogast-Web Sarah Arbogast
Sarah Arbogast joined the KDKA team as a Traffic Reporter in November...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new website introducing people to careers in construction is taking off as a result of the numerous highway construction projects happening in Western Pennsylvania.

The website is called “Future Road Builders.” It’s a virtual program, or video game, that basically walks potential new hires through different careers in highway construction.

It was launched by the Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania. Executive Director Rich Barcaskey said it’s easy to use and incredibly helpful.

“It gives you a very good feel of what to expect,” Barcaskey said. “We’re looking for a better qualified candidate. We’re also trying to dispute some myths about the construction industry being a dead end.”

It starts with a questionnaire with questions like “do you enjoy working outdoors?” and “are you willing to travel to get work?”. From there, a person can walk through eight phases of a construction project, trying out various jobs along the way.

“This focuses on construction workers, skilled craftspeople, your carpenters, your laborers, your operating engineers, your cement masons,” Barcaskey said.

The site gives people a sample of highway construction, all without leaving the comfort of home. Because of recent legislation, good-paying construction jobs won’t be disappearing.

“Since the passage of Act 89, the transportation bill in November, PennDOT is ramping up, local government is ramping up on badly needed construction projects,” Barcaskey said, “so obviously that translates into more jobs.”

Other trade associations, as far away as Oregon, are looking to develop similar sites.

For more information, visit the website at cawp.org/futureroadbuilders.

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