Community Engagement Day During Construction Inclusion Week
construction workers talking to elementary class

Construction Inclusion Week (CIW) at Mortenson included a Community Engagement Day educating more than 900 students in Title I schools about careers in construction. Our Seattle volunteers had an awesome time with students at Parkside Elementary School presenting to 7 classrooms (162 students) and the consensus for all the students is that they want to work in construction when they grow up! One even said he wanted to work for Mortenson specifically!

Mortenson volunteers led students through Bend and Stretch and taught them about safety and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Two students from each class put on PPE as volunteers talked about why we wear it on the jobsite, asking students what they thought each piece of equipment was for. We also talked about what we do in life that requires similar PPE. Volunteers then worked with students on a Lego® building activity and taught them about the importance of communication (not just in construction but in life).

construction workers at school with kids in vests and hard hats 

We left gift bags for teachers who opened their classrooms to us, as well as the principal. Each bag included 3 Mortenson authored children’s books: Catch the Wind, Catch the Sun, and Building a Ballpark; a Mortenson notebook; and a Mortenson tumbler filled with Hershey Kisses®.

Hearing from teachers and leaders after the event made the day even more fulfilling. The principal told us the kids were beaming after the event, one student told them that he wanted to work for Mortenson when he grows up, and several teachers let us know that their students told them it was the best day of their life. They appreciated that we tied together the construction industry with everyday things they are teaching (math, science, reading, etc.). One teacher told us she might implement Bend and Stretch every day!

group of school kids with construction workers in classroom 

In general, the teachers, students, and Mortenson volunteers were all smiles when we were done and we wanted to keep the event going! This is the essence of engaging in our communities and working with our youth, everyone finds value in these connections!

Mortenson team members in vests and hard hats outside Parkside Elementary School