Written by Michelle Glassburn, Lavallee Systems
After a long 3-year hiatus, the Youth Remodeling Career Day event returned! Although they say “absence makes the heart grow fonder” – it may make the heart grow better. This year’s event was undoubtedly better than ever. Despite the downpours, nearly 500 students returned to the Bolton Fairgrounds to spend a day trying their hand at a variety remodeling-related skills and activities.
This year the barns were full of a mix of new and old PRO New England members with hands on activity stations. Noticeably, students were more involved than ever in trying their hands with the tools of the trade. There were stair riggers, electrical switches, mitering, and even a playhouse being built to donate to an area charity. In the early years of the event, the students watched much of the work being done. On this day it was hard to find a station that didn’t have several students with tools of the trade in hand, learning the craft!
There was much to do beyond the barns as well. The mechanical tent focused on HVAC and plumbing activities – including the perennial favorite head-to-head toilet install race. Contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers all came together to show the latest tools and products – and how to use them in the craft. And the pavilion continued to house the popular mock-interviews and a variety of design/build activities. There was virtual reality site walkthroughs and a station that showcased the opportunities for women in the industry.
Most of the students spent the day perusing the event, trying a few activities, and learning how remodeling can be a challenging and rewarding career path in construction. Mission accomplished. But occasionally, there is a certain spark between a student and one of the businesses. I saw it throughout the day. There will be that one student who lingers a little longer, asks a few more questions, and perhaps even returns to the station a second or third time (and not just for another Twizzler). It is in those connections when the magic happens and when the real intent of Youth Remodeling Career Day is actualized.