How Can High School Students Get Into the Trades Industry?

RHK Construction - How Can High School Students Get Into the Trades Industry?

In 2020, the team at RHK Construction decided brochures weren’t having an impact, so they made the bold choice to create a hands-on experience for high school students to try their hand in the Trowel Trades. “We created a mobile setup that promotes different crafts, both indoors and outdoors,” explained Katie Heiden, CEO of RHK Construction. “After four years of community involvement in local school districts, the question of how high school students can enter the Trades continues to circulate with educators.”

According to Heiden, just like after graduating college, there is no direct line to career opportunities within the Trades. “Hearing that you must know somebody to get into the Trades feels very real at times,” she said. “It’s essential for us to encourage the next generation to learn to build things as early as elementary school, and continuing through high school. If we wait until they’re 18, we’ve already lost groups of students to stereotypes about working smart, not hard. Our Trades booth gives students a chance to try tuck-pointing brick, grouting tile, and caulking joints. We share information on union wages, obtaining certifications in the construction industry, and how to get sponsored by a union business agent.”

The best advice for readers wanting to learn different Trades includes reaching out to the Administrative District Council #1 of Illinois about their IMI program; contacting Chicago Women in the Trades; attending the Chicago Build Expo held at McCormick Place every year; and getting your OSHA 10 Certification, Welding Certification, and/or Lift Training Certification. High school students should take classes ranging from Trades to CAD, Auto Shop, and Architecture to add to their competitive edge after graduation.

Help students try a Trade by reaching out to RHK Construction about their mobile booth.

Join RHK Construction @Byline Bank on December 1, 2023 from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. for a holiday photo with the Grinch!

For more information, please contact:

RHK Construction, Inc.

219 West Galena Blvd.

Aurora, IL 60506

Ph: (331) 212-5158

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