It’s a common sight in Northern Nevada - construction... but now educators in the school district are learning what the business is really all about.

Brian Roll with Granite Construction says, "So that they can show their students that there's a career in construction which is vitally needed in the day and age we're in right now."

It's an education externship program - a two-day course put on by Associated General Contractors. 

In this session, attendees learn about the SouthEast Connector Project.

Teachers and counselors hear from professionals in the construction industry and get an opportunity to visit an active job site. 

"And see a large construction project actually under way and can kind of start putting the pieces together of all that's required to deliver something like this, “ says Garth Oksol with Regional Transportation Commission. “How we need skilled operators, skilled laborers…"

Those future skilled laborers may still be in elementary school. Fourth grade teacher Virginia Briggs has attended the externship twice and loves what she learns. It's enabled her to see certain potential in some of her young students. "They love Minecraft and they're always building and I think, gosh, maybe that's what's right for them - is this idea of problem solving and structure," says Briggs.

Oksol is one of the presenters. "We've been giving some of our personal experiences of what we were like as high school kids and not all of us were straight "A" students, perfect students - and just how we were able to find a passion and what that path was to get us to where we're at right now."

Teacher Mike Jackson works at ACE high school - Academy for Career Education in Reno. The school focuses on career and technical training. Jackson teaches math. "I actually get to see what they can actually do in the future, right outside my classroom - and then try to link what they're going to be doing here mathematically, so they can see how math is relevant," says Mike who is attending his second externship.

The construction externship program is in its sixth year, has won several awards and continually gets repeat requests from teachers and counselors. The next workshop will be held over the summer.

The Nevada Chapter AGC has been active in national and regional construction issues including job site safety and worker health care, vocational education and recognizing the best in local building.  

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