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Tampa Bay and Sarasota's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Tampa Bay and Sarasota, FL | WTSP.com

Building the framework for the future

Why companies are recruiting high school students to fill a shortage of skilled workers.

TAMPA, Fla. — Skilled labor workers are hard to find, so it's good to know companies are now looking at high school students as a high priority. 

Over the last few weeks, more than 100 students from several bay area schools were taken to a new home construction site to see first hand what types of jobs are available. 

It's not your typical career day for these Sickles High School students. They are part of the 'Framework for the Future', a program by Lennar homes to try and encourage some of them to become skilled workers. Rick Hudak is with Lennar Homes. "We've got seniors graduating next year and we need help out here and we don't want them to graduate and not know what to do." 

And on a site like this,  there all kinds of jobs.  "From surveys to form crews, to slab masons, block masons, framers, drywall, tile electricians..."  And the list goes on.

"We can teach out of a book, but when they come and see it actually being done. It's a big deal for them," said teach Terry Hektoen.

Student Josh Gill agrees. "It's great because we don't really get this close in the classroom, obviously so it's really good to come out and really see how it's done professionally."

And while not all the students plan take on this kind of work in the future. They now have a better understanding of what options are available. "It definitely does make a difference.

Just like a new home has to have a foundation, walls and a roof, a new career can begin the same way. "We want to show them what it's like out here and to start building a career," said Hudak.

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