Utility career fair with one EWEB employee and two students talking wirh him
Utility Career Fair 11/01/2016

More than 500 high school students from across Lane County experienced a day-in-the-life of construction, road maintenance and utility trade workers during the Construction and Utilities Career Day on in mid-October.

Sponsored by regional utilities that deliver electricity and water to customers in Lane County, as well as area construction and equipment companies, the Oregon Department of Transportation, Northwest College of Construction, and the Lane ESD along with the Construction & Engineering Revitalization Grant, the event allowed high school students an opportunity to try a variety of hands-on activities ranging from operating heavy equipment and climbing poles to welding and plumbing. The students also learned about advances in surveying that are integrated in 3-D road design and automated machine guidance systems.

Utilities and construction companies, along public agencies like ODOT, are experiencing a large number of job openings in trades-related fields as older employees retire at an increasing rate. The October career day is part of the industry's efforts to encourage younger people to seek careers in well-paying trades jobs.

Students from more than 20 high schools were able to operate heavy equipment, learned how to repair water mains, climbed power poles and learned about job opportunities and training that include:

  • Electrician
  • Line technician
  • Plumber
  • Carpenter
  • Substation technician
  • CAD drafter
  • Sheet metal worker
  • Solar panel installer
  • Water mechanic
  • Equipment operator
  • Welder
  • Construction craft laborer
  • Customer service representative
  • Energy management specialist
  • Water conservationist
  • Concrete cutter
  • Utility locator