On the heels of releasing its “Old Construction Road” song and music video that encourages younger generations to consider careers in construction, minority-owned The UP Companies (UPCO) has planned a Career Expo in March to recruit the next generation of workers and guide them on the “road” to success.
The UPCO Career Expo is scheduled for 4-6 p.m., Thursday, March 12 at UPCO’s offices, 2060 Craigshire Road, St. Louis, MO 63146. Representatives from UPCO’s distinct business units – Power UP electrical contractors, Square UP builders and Hustle UP general laborers, will be in attendance, as well as a representative from the STL Construction Career Center, a branch of the Associated General Contractors of Missouri’s (AGCMO) Education Initiative for those who may have a general interest in the industry but aren’t sure which direction to take.
Participants are encouraged to bring their resume if they have one, or they can pre-apply online at www.theupcompanies.com/careers.
Career Expo participants will also get to meet the stars of the “Old Construction Road” video, UPCO owner Michael Kennedy, Jr. and hip-hop artist Howard “Chingy” Bailey, Jr. Chingy grew up in St. Louis and began writing music at age 7. His debut album “Jackpot” sold three million copies in 2003 and featured hit singles “Right Thurr”, “One Call Away” and “Holidae In” featuring Ludacris and Snoop Dogg. Chingy would go on to record more albums throughout his career, making him an international recording artist with 50 million records sold worldwide. He is currently on the “Millennium Tour” and plans to release a new album in March 2020.
Chingy organized the recording session for “Old Construction Road” as well as lent his vocal talents to a key verse in the song. Kennedy sings several verses, while the hook and chorus are sung by Square UP employee Cornelius Blanks. A music video featuring the trio and other UPCO employees was produced by St. Louis-based video production company Unbridled Media and released to the public on Dec. 20, 2019. To date, the video has received over 17,000 views on YouTube.
UPCO Website – theUPcompanies.com/old-construction-road/
The current state of the construction industry was one of the key motivators behind UPCO releasing a parody song and music video of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X. While the construction industry may be booming and the need for new buildings and structures has increased, the workforce needed to complete those projects has decreased considerably. In fact, workforce shortages remain one of the single most significant threats to the construction industry today.
A significant part of the problem is the lack of interest from younger generations, such as Millennials and Gen Z, to work in construction despite the surplus of well-paying positions and low-cost or free education and training. In many high schools and colleges around the U.S., four-year degrees and white-collar jobs are emphasized over skilled labor training, with certain vocational programs being cut altogether. A staggering 80% of U.S. construction firms are having trouble hiring talent, and the trend is predicted to worsen.
UPCO has felt the effects of the workforce shortage on its own projects and wanted to find a unique way to reach the next generation of workers through its video and song. Hosting a Career Expo and educating this generation is the next step in that process.
“We wanted to create awareness among potential employees, particularly minorities, that we are the premier destination for careers and to motivate them to consider working for us,” said Kennedy. “The construction industry offers tremendous career opportunities and benefits to anyone who likes to see the fruits of their labor and is willing to put in the effort to succeed. We have the jobs available.”
For more information about the Career Expo and a career in construction, visit The UP Companies at www.theupcompanies.com/careers, AGCMO at www.agcmo.org, and Build Your Future – Build Missouri at https://missouri.byf.org.
The UP Companies (UPCO) is one of the region’s largest full-service MBE-certified contracting companies offering all-inclusive and convenient solutions for general contractors, owners and facilities management professionals. For more information, go to www.theupcompanies.com or call 314.865.3888.