Construction Groups Reach Out to High School Students About Craft Apprenticeships & Careers


Two Southern Illinois groups are cooperating to develop and distribute detailed information to area high schools aimed at helping students learn how they can build successful and rewarding careers in the union construction crafts.

            The information is at Schools in the Southern 39 counties of Illinois are receiving notice of the videos and fact sheets.

            The groups are the Southern Illinois Builders Association, a group of about 500 commercial construction companies, and the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program, a not-for-profit industry fund powered by employer contributions based on time worked by union Carpenters, Cement Masons, Operating Engineers, Painters and Laborers.

            Donna Richter, chief executive officer of the Builders Association, says because of the COVID, the groups’ usual Construction Careers Expos held in MetroEast and DuQuoin must be postponed and are being replaced temporarily with videos and detailed fact sheets outlining the work of 13 separate craft unions, the apprenticeship training programs and the current pay and benefits of the different union crafts.

“Many families don’t realize the number of construction jobs that are opening now because of retirement and the growth of the industry.” Richter said. “We’re also finding that most people don’t realize that many interested in a career can be paid a very good wage while learning a skilled trade in a construction apprenticeship program. There’s no cost at all for the apprenticeship training, and some programs issue college credits.”

“Although this informational program is being made available to high schools and students, the construction companies and unions also are interested in talking with those individuals with a good work ethic who may be interested in changing careers,” Richter said.

President of the Southern Illinois Builders Association is Hank Rohwedder and Chairman of the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement program is Bruce Holland.

More information about the videos, construction apprenticeship programs and opportunities in Southern Illinois is available at and at 618.624.9055.

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